In perhaps the biggest upset of the first round, No. 16 Hastings defeated No.1 Briarcliff 2-1 at Briarcliff. In sudden death overtime, sophomore forward Lucy Mondello headed in a cross from sophomore midfielder Olivia Selemon.
Hastings will play at No. 9 Albertus Magnus in a quarterfinal match up on Thursday.
Yesterday’s game was the third time in the past four years that Hastings has met Briarcliff in the sectional playoffs. Briarcliff won the previous two meetings.
The Yellow Jackets got off to a great start when Mondello’s sister, Jamie, scored early in the first half. For the next 60 minutes, Hastings held steady, but Briarcliff broke through in the second half, tying the game on a goal by junior midfielder Lauren Miller.
“It became a defensive battle for us more than an offensive battle,” Hastings coach Timon Munting said.
Senior defender Carrie Freeman had the task of marking sophomore midfielder/forward Samantha Kirsch. Senior sweeper and captain Grace Coomaraswamy was responsible for making sure everybody was focused and marking Briarcliff’s myriad offensive threats. Senior goalkeeper Charlotte Nugent made 20 saves.
Said Coomaraswamy about Mondello’s goal: ”That second goal — the sudden-death golden goal — was probably one of the happiest moments of my life.”
Coomaraswamy said the team has learned a lot this season.
“We’ve definitely evolved so much,” she said. ”I feel like each game that we’ve played, we learned a new lesson. Recently we played a game against Pelham, and we were down 1-0 for the entire game. And then we scored, and we got way too excited, got distratced, and a goal got scored on us. By the end of the season, we have all these lessons. We know each other well. We know our strengths and weaknesses.”
Some thoughts following the first round:
- Let’s call it like it is: Saunders proved me wrong. Saunders beat a very good Nanuet team that was brimming with confidence, and they showed how great a team they are. Saunders vs. Somers will be an outstanding game.
- A young Bronxville team showed tremendous resolve against a talented Pleasantville team that executed well.
- Blind Brook’s Sophie Loewenstein and North Salem’s Brenna Brown are two of the only players who scored four goals in one game this season. They’ll be on the same field Thursday when their respective teams face each other at Blind Brook.
- Look out for Eastchester. They put so much emotion and energy into that thriller with Tappan Zee — 110 minutes, then PKs. This is the type of win that could propel a team far. Eastchester looked great yesterday, and I expect their game with Pearl River to come down to the wire.
- Clarkstown South vs. Horace Greeley on Thursday — two of the most talented teams in the area. Amanda Becker, Sadie Rutman and Olivia Kerester lead the Quakers as they visit Brianna McMahon, Carly Glaser, Briana Jean-Charles and the Vikings.
- Panas continues to improve with the tough road win over Hen Hud. The Panthers will be taking on Rye Thursday.
- Stay safe all!