Lakeland, Yorktown Both Enjoy Perfect Weeks

Lakeland junior Jhoely Duque goes up for a 50-50 ball. Credits: Deena Bell

NANUET, N.Y.— No. 13-seeded Lakeland earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at No. 4 Nanuet in the opening round of the Section 1 Class A girls soccer tournament on Oct. 22, led by Katherine Maurno (1G, 1A), Haley Flanagan (1G), and Kaitlyn Heinrich (12 saves).

Lakeland blanked No. 20 Gorton 8-0 in the outbracket round on Oct. 20.

Flanagan (1G, 2A), Katelyn Bloss (2A), Gabi Libretti (2A), Ashley Acevedo (1G, 1A), Maurno (1G), Emily Weinborg (1G), Jhoely Duque (1G), Julia Gomez (1G), Alexa Caputi (1G), Juliana Kocovic (1G), and Stephanie Shalhoub (2 saves) all produced for Lakeland.

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For seniors Caputi and Kocovic, it was their first goals on varsity.

“It meant so much to me to finally score for Lakeland,” said Caputi, a captain who plays defense. “Our team won because we were really focused and determined to win. We have been working really hard and have been putting in a lot of effort.”

Lakeland (10-8) started the week with a 2-1 win at Nyack on Oct. 17.

Bloss scored twice, including the game winner on a penalty kick with 1:46 left.

“During the kick I was thinking how important it was to make the shot to get the win for the team,” said Bloss, a junior forward. “I felt the pressure but my overall main thought was ‘don’t miss.’ After it, it felt great to be able to put my team ahead and to close out the game strong.”

Libretti (1A), Shalhoub (7 saves) and Heinrich (4 saves) also contributed to the win at Nyack.

“Throughout the entire game, we played with a fast pace and never let up,” Bloss said. “Our ability to stay in our shape and play with intensity led us to getting the win.” 

No. 3 Yorktown got the postseason off on the right foot with a 5-0 rout against visiting No. 14 Roy C. Ketcham in the first round of the Class AA tournament on Oct. 22.

Producing  against the Indians for Yorktown were Ivana Pjetri (1G, 2A), Alyssa Francese (2G), Ellen O’Callaghan (1G), Ciara Frawley (1G, 1A) and Caroline Nachman (5 saves).

The Huskers hosted and defeated two-time Section 1 Class A champion Somers 1-0, in their tournament’s title game on Oct. 19. It was the Tuskers’ second regular season loss since 2013.

Ariana Pjetri, scored off an assist from Alyssa Francese, 2:28 into the game, with Nachman making 19 saves for Yorktown in its regular-season finale.

“It was an amazing feeling to score the winning goal against our rivals,” Ariana Pjetri said. “It meant a lot to our whole team to beat a very strong team like Somers, especially going into the playoffs.”

Yorktown (13-3-1) won at Scarsdale 1-0 on Oct. 18, when Francese, courtesy of an assist from Ariana Pjetri, scored with 1:45 left in the game.

“Ariana got a ball on the outside and was able to get down the line and cross the ball perfectly between the defenders and goalie and I was able to get behind all of them to finish,” Francese said. “It felt awesome to score the winning goal with such little time left on the clock. We knew we were facing a tough team and wouldn’t get as many chances as we are used to. So to have been able to finish on one of our few and beat a very good team felt great.”

Nachman made 14 saves in goal against the Raiders.

“Caroline has come in really clutch for us all season making really big saves,” Francese said. “She played a huge part in keeping us in the game with some key saves tonight and played really well.”

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