Written by Mineola American Staff Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00
The GU15 Mineola Mini-Mustangs soccer club began their spring campaign where they left off during their successful Fall 2013 season. On Sunday, March 16, Mineola used a solid defensive effort to earn a well-played 2-1 victory over the Dix Hills Nitro at Vets Park in Northport, in the first Arch Cup Tournament group game for both teams.
Mineola jumped to a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, as midfielder Antonia Ciuffo drove home a rebound off a tough shot from teammate Christen Patalano. Later in the half, the Nitro began to put passes together and pressure Mineola’s defensive back line. A deflection led to an opening inside the Mineola penalty area and Dix Hills tied the score. Minutes later, with Mineola on their heels, the Dix Hills attack produced another great opportunity, with a hard shot leading to a great reaction and kick save by Mineola keeper Gretchen Keller.
The Mini-Mustangs regrouped at the half and used a stifling defensive effort to limit the Nitro attack in the second half. Mineola’s possession game kept the ball on the offensive half of the field for much of the half.
Keller, now playing stopper, and left back Annie Cripps had strong games preventing breakout passes and rushes by Dix Hills, and spurred the Mineola attack. With 12 minutes remaining, Mineola’s Allison Lamonica took a pass from the left sideline, took a touch on the ball and drove a spiraling missile of a shot off the Nitro goalkeeper’s palms and into the top of the net. That goal would prove to be the winner, as Mineola’s defense held off the Nitro. Jillian Palma, Brianna Lopes, Michelle Viola, Meghan Lafaye and Valerie
Cobos combined with Keller and Cripps to lead the solid Mineola defensive effort.