SHRUB OAK, N.Y. - Yorktown freshman forward Julianna Vano scored off a great pass from Olivia Lucas with 1:09 left in regulation, to give the Huskers a thrilling 1-0 triumph at Lakeland, on the Hornets’ senior night.
The loss avenged an early season loss to Lakeland.
“It feels great to beat them today,” Vano said. “We’ve been waiting all season to get some revenge and take a win. I think I can say for my whole team we are really stoked we took the W today.”
Vano explained how the game-winning play came about in the Oct. 17 girls-soccer contest.
“It started with a pass from Sophia Spallone into the middle to Olivia Lucas,” Vano said. “Then Olivia Lucas passed it, it was almost like a perfect window for me to get a shot off. It felt great to see the ball roll right in the back of the net so far into the game. We had a phenomenal build up that was much needed. It felt amazing to score that goal especially, against Lakeland, our crosstown rivals.”
Vano said that the Huskers came out really energized and ready to play against the Hornets, after losing 5-1 at John Jay (Cross River) on Oct. 12.
“After a loss last weekend we were fired up to get back a W,” Vano said. “We all played so hard. You were really able to tell as we held the ball a lot during the game, continuing to pressure the goal and the defense, to work, and got some looks on net. Our mental game was here tonight and without us playing smart it would’ve been a completely different game. I’m very proud of the way my team and I played tonight.”
Husker coach Rich Armstrong was proud of his team’s effort as well.
“Tonight we were prepared for a battle and we had one,” Armstrong said. “Lakeland was well organized and we played a pretty even first half. As the game went on and time ticked I could see that we were playing with confidence. Sophia Spallone took the ball down the left side and found a couple open players in the middle. They combined nicely and Julianna Vano was composed and slid it passed the goalkeeper. These girls can play with so much heart when they want it. Tonight their work rate was top notch.”
Armstrong was especially proud of Vano.
“Vano is very coachable, and understands she has much more to learn,” Armstrong said. “Today she created space and Olivia played a perfect ball to Vano’s feet. Her composure allowed her to find the back of the net.”
Lakeland coach Shawn Sullivan said that Yorktown’s stingy defense was a big reason why it was unable to get on the scoreboard.
“It was a tough game,” Sullivan said. “We struggled to maintain possession and get quality shots. I credit Yorktown with strong defense to cause us to struggle stringing passes together.”
Yorktown’s Erisa Krasniqi (5 saves) and Lakeland’s Caley Doell (7 saves) did the job in goal for their respective teams.
Yorktown (6-8-2) hosted Somers on its senior day, its regular-season finale, on Oct. 20, falling to the Tuskers 2-0, with Krasniqi registering 9 saves.
The 15th-seeded Huskers opened the Section 1 Class A playoffs in an out-bracket match against No. 18 Saunders on Wednesday (Oct. 23). If they win, they would play Pearl River on Oct. 25.
Lakeland (7-7-2) finished its regular season with a 1-1 tie in overtime at John Jay-Cross River on Oct. 18, with Nadia Parisi scoring on penalty kick in the 70th minute and Doell recording 17 saves.
The 17th-seeded Hornets also had an outbracket match Wednesday at Brewster. The winner of that match will go on to play the top-seeded Rye on Oct. 25.