HILLBURN It was not the start Somers’ Nicole DeMase was looking to have, but when it mattered most, the junior stepped up on the big stage.
After being held to one goal almost the entire game, the junior scored the game-tying and winning goals in No. 1 Somers’ 15-12 overtime win over No. 2 Yorktown in the Class B sectional final Thursday at Torne Valley.
It’s the first sectional title in program history for Somers.
DeMase scored with 1:19 left in regulation to tie the game at 12-12 and force overtime. The junior continued to step up, scoring the game-winner with 1:05 left in the first half of overtime before adding an insurance goal less than 30 seconds later.
“I didn’t really have the first half that I wanted to; I was kind of a little slow and nonchalant,” said DeMase, who finished with a game-high four goals. “In the second half, I knew I had to pick it up, and my teammates did a great job of finding me and getting me open.”
The Huskers had a chance at a game-winner on a free position with 5.9 seconds left in regulation, but hit the post.
Somers coach Jaime Irving said she singled out the Tuskers stars — DeMase, Emma Schurr (two goals) and Tara Schurr (one goal) — before the start of overtime, calling on them to step up.
“(DeMase) loves having the ball with the game on the line, and she’s always successful,” Irving said. “I knew she was going to rise to the occasion.”
DeMase wasn’t the only one to come up with big plays late. Somers senior goalie Aly Martone made two saves in the second half of overtime to preserve the win.
“I just got my body there, to be honest,” Martone said. “Thank God my stick was there, too.”
Neither team held more than a three-goal advantage. The second half was even tighter, as both teams continuously traded goals and stayed tied or within one of each other.
“It feels amazing,” said DeMase of winning the first sectional title in program history. “I can’t even put it into words. … This is what I’ve wanted, and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team.”
Photo courtesy of Seth Harrison/Journal News.