Written by Mineola American Staff Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00
The GU15 Mineola Mini-Mustangs surrendered two late goals against the South Huntington Strikers to find themselves tied with three minutes remaining in the final game of the group stage of the Arch Cup Tournament on April 17. Mineola regained its composure and a minute later, Shannon Durham pounced on a ball near the top of the Strikers’ penalty area and looped a shot over the leaping South Huntington keeper and into the net for a dramatic game-winning goal.
Mineola’s fast-paced offense controlled the pace of the game. Mineola scored the game’s opening goal 15 minutes into the first half as Allison Lamonica drove a long crossing pass from the right sideline across the goalmouth and into the path of teammate Katie
Russelman, who let the ball bounce off her thigh and stomach before momentum pushed the ball into the Strikers’ goal.
The Strikers soon tied the game, launching a long free kick that took a home-team bounce over Mineola’s goalkeeper Natalia Cotto. Before the halftime whistle, Lamonica finished a long run down the right side with a terrific strike on the ball that found the corner of the South Huntington goal.
Mineola’s offense created numerous second half chances, with strikers Christen Patalano, Emma Feimer and Natalia Cotto narrowly missing goals. Eventually the Lamonica to Russelman combination provided the third Mineola goal, as Brianna O’Brien’s redirection of a Lamonica cross slid across the goalmouth before Russelman tapped it easily home.
South Huntington came to life as centerback Shelby Wuss drove a 40-yard missile off a direct free kick right under the bar and into the Mineola goal for a terrific goal to cut the Mineola lead to 3-2. The Strikers were soon buzzing in the Mineola end again and eventually another long strike found the Mineola goal to tie the score, setting up Durham’s heroics.