PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. — Lakeland won its first girls summer soccer league contest with a 2-1 triumph against North Salem at Putnam Valley High School on July 6.
The game started out with Lakeland dominating possession in the opening half.
“We were working together, we passed the ball a lot,” Lakeland rising junior forward Katherine Maurno said. “We were able to get by the defenders. Although we couldn’t get the shot off, it was really good that we were able to spread out and were able to pass around them and they were getting tired.”
Lakeland continued to apply the pressure and finally its hard work paid off very late in the first half. That’s when Maurno put home a shot right in front of the net with the assist going to Uma Pepic.
“Uma pretty much played the main role in the goal,” Maurno said. “She found the open pass and she put it perfectly. She didn’t put it too hard that it went to the goalie. She put it perfectly where I could get it and beat the defender and score.”
North Salem answered right back on a free kick early in the second half when Allie Bratt scored on a long-range shot that landed softly in the back of the net.
“It was really exciting,” Bratt said. “It’s not uncommon that I take those kicks so it was fun.”
The two teams continued to work hard under the early evening sun and Lakeland regained the lead on a goal by Kaitlin Bloss, which was assisted by Jennifer Sabatino.
Great teamwork by both Bloss and Sabatino led to the goal, according to Maurno.
“Kate has the perfect shot and Jen always follows up,” Maurno said. “She always is making the right passes in the right open spots and that is how they really got the goal — working together.”
Maurno was proud of her squad as it was able to bounce back after two hard-fought losses and earn its first summer-league victory.
“We played amazing, we had most of the possession,” Maurno said. “The ability to spread the field and find the open passes was big for us.”
The two teams finished the week on July 8 with Lakeland (1-2-1) tying Walter Panas 1-1 and North Salem (2-2) falling to Kennedy Catholic 4-0.