ASHLEY BENTSEN & LUREN RULLO
Wednesday the Lady Sailors achieved redemption as the Oceanside Girls Varsity soccer team notched a prodigious victory against Massapequa, beating the conference champs 4-3.
The previous week, the girls had faced the undefeated, conference one champs, Massapequa. They went into the game with positive attitudes, but knew the opponent was tough and determined. The girls were unfortunately easily dismissed 6-1. A tough loss for any team, possibly even enough to discourage a team as it moved on through a difficult schedule.
However the Lady Sailors proved to be a resilient group. With a defensive game plan in place the goal was to keep the Massapequa offense in check. Within the first three minutes, Massapequa managed to put the ball in the back of the net. The team had worked too hard though, and Oceanside was ready to put up a fight. The next ten minutes of the game posed a challenge for Massapequa. Freshmen and forward Luigina Serraro, got fouled in the box resulting in a penalty kick. Alexa Mihale, Junior and center midfield, was able to aim for the lower right corner and at twenty-nine minutes into the contest it was tied. Now with their heads up, the girls managed to play confidently enough to to put in another goal. Serrao was able to take possession off a fumble by the Massapequa goalie and dribbled the ball into the net. The score remained 2-1 through the half.
Up a goal, the team felt a palpable excitement at half-time. Coach Winchester, managed to calm the team and keep them focused. “Do not get excited yet. We still have a long 40 minutes left, which is a lot of time and Massapequa is a team that can make that comeback. Just keep playing the way you’re playing!”
The second half initiated with some of the best playing this year. The goal was to remain defensive and to hold the lead. Fourteen minutes into the second half that precious lead was extended. From the thirty-five yard line, Mihale put in another precise shot that flew just passed the outstretched hands of the goalie. This was the first time in the season that Massapequa had surrendered more than two goals. To help secure the victory freshman Ashley Ladner put in Mihale’s corner kick in the twenty-third minute of the second half to put Oceanside up 4-2.
The next seventeen minutes were certainly an intense and exacting countdown for the team. Massapequa did manage to put in another goal, but Oceanside, anxious yet assertive, poured whatever they had left onto the field to conclude the game with a tremendous victory of 4-3.
Massapequa has won three straight state Class AA championships, and had steamrolled the competition thus far this season with a 7-1 victory against Port Washington and a 6-2 win over South Side. They had been unchallenged in their eight victories, but fell to a record of 8-1 Wednesday after an eighty minute battle against the Lady Sailors.