SOMERS, N.Y.— Somers defender Alix Goldman saw an opportunity and she took it.
Her role was defense for the Tuskers as she marked one of visiting Lakeland’s top scorers throughout the game when the two rivals squared off Thursday, Sept. 21.
Goldman, however, found herself in the unusual position of creating the spark for the offense. She made a play on defense in Somers’ half of the field, and then she saw open space in front of her. Goldman made a rush, controlled the ball all the way inside the box, made a pass and kept going. She was in the perfect spot to knock in a rebound for a goal. It was the perfect time to score her first varsity goal as it gave the Tuskers a 1-0 lead on their way to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Hornets.
“I just kept running through the ball, just kept going,” Goldman said. “We get hungry when we get near the goal. I just kept going forward and then I had to put it in. Lakeland is a good team, but we kept communicating and did a good job on defense.”
Goldman’s rush up the field started beyond the midfield mark before she passed to teammate Sarah DiRubbo, who drilled a shot that forced Lakeland goalie Stephanie Shalhoub to make a diving save. Goldman pounced on the rebound and knocked it home for the lead at the 31:26 mark of the second half.
The Tuskers didn’t stop there as they kept the pressure on the Hornets, and then Jess Rodriguez was able to drill a long shot into the upper corner for a 2-0 lead at the 16:02 mark.
“It’s my second game back from injury and that felt amazing,” Rodriguez said. “I saw the corner and knew I had to make a good shot. I was kind of shocked. I don’t usually score with my right foot, but when I saw it go in that top corner I was so happy.”
The Tuskers, who improved to 5-1-1, applied the pressure and earned five corner kicks in the second half after none in the first half.
“This is a big win, playing without two starters. Lakeland played an excellent game and the kids really stepped up,” Somers coach Paul Saia said. “I told them at halftime that Lakeland wanted it more than you do and we had to step it up in the second half. We came out with a lot of intensity in the second half and I’m very proud of them.”
Goalie Lauren Jockimo was credited with nine saves overall to register the shutout. Lakeland tried to rally back and get the equalizer and the Hornets came close on a corner kick, but Jockimo was able to leap in the crowd and bat it away in front of the goal.
“Defensively as a unit, together we really stopped them,” Saia said. “We hung tough and made the plays when we needed to. Lauren made a couple of really tough saves. Mia Klayman and Katherine Olsen played really tough. Alexis Atkinson did a real fine job back at sweeper. Alix Goldman, forget about the goal, defensively she played very smart, and Dani Cucchiarella played a fine game in the middle.”
Somers will try to keep up its winning ways on the road as the Tuskers play four-straight games away from home. The Tuskers were set to travel to face John Jay in Cross River on Sept. 26, then rival Horace Greeley two days later. The following week Somers starts off October on the road at Mahopac on Monday, Oct. 2, and the Tuskers then travel to Brewster on Wednesday, Oct.4.