Here is my game story on No. 3 North Salem’s 2-1 double-overtime win against No. 6 Pleasantville.
NORTH SALEM North Salem’s Kaitlyn Murphy had a clear mind as she sprinted down the field on a breakaway.
The junior forward was following a simple piece of advice from North Salem coach Bob Martin.
“It’s like a duck on the pond,” Murphy said. “Your feet are going fast in the water, but up top you’re calm.”
Murphy buried what proved to be the eventual game-winning goal in overtime of the No. 3 Tigers’ 2-1 win against No. 6 Pleasantville in Tuesday’s Class B quarterfinal.
North Salem will head to No. 2 Bronxville, the reigning Class B sectional champions, to play a semifinal Thursday.
“I tried to compose myself as much as I could and did what I had to do,” said Murphy of the goal, which was set up on a through ball by Paige Werlau.
The entire Tigers’ squad show a great deal of composure as it took on wave after wave of offensive attacks from Pleasantville throughout the second half.
After opening the game with a strong offensive push, Martin decided to try and use the speed of Werlau and Murphy up front on counter attacks.
While the change in philosophy allowed the Panthers to press forward, it also made Pleasantville susceptible in the back.
North Salem took advantage midway through the second half when Werlau finished a breakaway.
“I was just trying to get to ball,” said Werlau of the goal. “My inside was going crazy, but I knew I just had to get there and touch it.”
The Panthers answered less than five minutes later when Remi Manna headed in a Julia Eisenberg corner for the equalizer.
The Tigers continued to look to capitalize off counter attacks in overtime. It didn’t take long, as Murphy finished Werlau’s through ball just three minutes into the first overtime.
“They were nice finishes,” said Martin of both North Salem’s goals. “It wasn’t like they tried to just drill it in the back of the net. They saw the opening in the goal, and they kind of placed it in a little bit more instead of drilling it.”
Photo courtesy of Frank Becerra Jr./Journal News. For the entire gallery click here.