By Andrew Wroblewski
After clawing back from a 1-0 deficit to take a one-goal lead in the second half, everything looked good for the Half Hollow Hills High School West girls varsity soccer team last Thursday against the Bulldogs of North Babylon.
Then the clock read 8 seconds.
At that time, the Colts’ plans for a comeback were foiled by North Babylon’s junior midfielder Dana Scheriff. After winning the ball atop the Colts’ box, the junior snuck past two Hills West defenders and chipped goalkeeper Joanna Musacchia to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Scheriff once again broke through and consequently broke the Colts’ hearts as another breakaway led the Bulldogs (1-0) to a 3-2 victory over the Colts (0-1) in a League III opener.
“The girls played great; they played together… But unfortunately we came out with the loss,” Colts’ Head Coach Amanda Strack said after the game. “[We] played hard and fought until the end.”
With 5 minutes left to play in the first half, North Babylon senior midfielder Kayla King opened up the scoring as she placed a free kick into the top right corner of the net – just out of reach for Musacchia.
The half came to a close shortly after and, in the second half, the Colts were able to capitalize on a free kick when senior defender Angelique Chatpar stepped up to the ball with just 13 minutes left to play. Calm, cool and collected, Chatpar drilled a shot low, to the right corner of the net where Bulldogs’ goalkeeper Angela DiFazio was able to get a hand on it, but not quite enough to keep the Colts off of the scoreboard.
With the momentum now on their side, Hills West kept pressuring the Bulldogs and broke through once again off of a set piece where the ball found the head of senior Arianna Sabatino who slickly maneuvered it around DiFazio and into the back of the net.
As time ran down in the half, though, the Bulldogs pressured offensively and the Colts – just seconds away from victory – couldn’t sustain the defensive effort.
“We dominated, we did,” Strack said. “[But] we’ll get them next time.”
Missed opportunities, Strack added, played a part in the Colts’ downfall.
In the first half, Hills West drew a penalty kick, but junior midfielder Katina Cokinos put the resulting shot just wide of the net.
With the Colts trailing by one in the second half, Sabatino had a chance to even things up with 26 minutes left to play when a cross came along to her deep in the box near the left goalpost. Sabatino tried to place the ball into the corner of the net – and would have been successful in doing so – but DiFazio foiled the potential goal by pushing the ball wide of the post.
“We have to work on finishing,” Strack said. “[With] just a little bit more possession [and] keeping our composure, [I think] we’ll be alright.”
Moving forward, the Colts were in action on Monday against Riverhead (0-1) and then on Wednesday when they traveled to Copiague (0-1). Both games, however, occurred after press time on Monday.
On Friday, Hills West will play host to Centereach (0-1) at 4 p.m.