NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— North Salem dominated archrival Haldane front to back Oct. 5 in a 6-0 home drubbing of the school that eliminated them from last season’s Class C playoffs.
“I like the way that we’ve been starting to make a bigger commitment to passing the ball around,” North Salem coach Bob Martin said. “That was my main goal for today.”
Clearly the aggressor that owned the ball, the Tigers stuffed themselves full of offensive opportunities that they capitalized on during their senior game.
“It’s a great feeling to beat Haldane after they ended our season last year,” sophomore Julia DeSanto said. “That game left a stinger in us. Winning today will totally change our season around.”
DeSanto, who finished with two goals, cannoned in her first from 20-feet outside the box in the 14th minute.
North Salem threatened several times soon after, but couldn’t send it through. It did with under two minutes left in the half, when senior Lydia Werlau tucked a penalty shot into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0 prior to the break.
Shortly after, DeSanto booted in the goaltender’s save of junior Kara Rollins’ long free-kick two minutes into the second half.
Scoring close to the net off a slow rolling goal was Jenna Murphy three minutes after, as the score reading 4-0 drastically dropped the Blue Devils’ energy level.
During the 47th minute, the Tigers sewed together three beautifully quick one-touch passes before Kelly McCarthy topped it with a long-distance strike. DeSanto passed toward the goal to Werlau, who swiftly tapped it back out for the assist.
Stretching the score to 6-0 with about 25 minutes still to play, freshman Camille Flayhan kicked one behind the net on a short pass from Rollins.
Calling off the dogs from there, North Salem still maintained the ball and winded the clock down. Senior goalie Mikaela Spennicchia saved 10 shots in total.
“This game has really helped our momentum,” Rollins said. “It built up our confidence for games to come. We’ve developed a lot since the beginning (of the season).”
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Tigers cruised past visiting Alexander Hamilton, 6-1.
Ellie Molina caught fire and scored a hat trick with three goals while Werlau added one.
DeSanto nailed another point-blank goal, but this time it came from the other side of the field. Ashley Binette got involved, scoring a goal as well.
“What helped us do well today was when we played Hamilton,” DeSanto said. “We got to start working as a team better and pass the ball around them. Since then we have built out of the back to the front, instead of just kicking the ball. Everybody stepped up to the plate today.”
North Salem (4-7) faced Putnam Valley on Oct. 11 and will welcome Valhalla for its final home game of the regular season on Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. It then visits Haldane for a rematch on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“I hope it is a more consistent mentality (to play Putnam Valley with),” Martin said. “That loss was early in the season and we expect to do better this time. We are two similar-style teams.”