MAMARONECK — Despite coming in as the lower seed, Mahopac was confident heading into Friday’s quarterfinal game against third-seeded Mamaroneck.
The Indians came in knowing what to expect from Mamaroneck, and big games of their leaders, Kim Harker and Kelly Maxwell, saw them upset the Tigers by an 11-9 score.
“This is the greatest moment I’ve ever felt playing lacrosse,” Maxwell said. “I expected Mamaroneck to come out on fire, and we did a great job today.”
Mahopac jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead early in the first half thanks to a behind-the-back shot from Harker and a goal from Maxwell. Mamaroneck then went on a three-goal run on goals from Brianna Steigerwald, Katie Cotter and Freya Cantwell to take a 3-2 lead with 9:32 left in the first half.
Mahopac responded with three consecutive goals of their own to take a 5-3 lead, and goals from Mamaroneck’s Cantwell and Mahopac’s Francesca Ferreira in the final 34 seconds made the score 6-4 at halftime,
After Harker ripped in a shot from a tough angle four minutes into the second half, Mamaroneck rang off four straight goals to take back the lead. At this point, Mahopac coach Jim Lieto called a timeout, and before he could speak, Harker spoke her mind to her teammates.
“We needed to stop them,” she said. “If Kelly and I get emotionally invested into the game, our teammates draw into that.”
Mahopac responded, and with 10:51 left, Ali Korin got a shot off in front after she was knocked down onto her back to tie the game. She scored on a set-up from Maxwell two minutes later, and Maxwell followed that up with a goal off of a free position to give the Indians a 10-8 lead.
“We made a couple of mistakes, and they capitalized on it,” Mamaroneck coach Rocky Lividini said. “It’s a very bittersweet feeling; I wasn’t ready for our season to end.”
Mamroneck’s Julia Kwait made it 10-9 with 3:34 left, but Mahopac’s Ferreira scored an insurance goal with two minutes left to seal the win.
“When it mattered, our big people stepped up,” Lieto said. “We’re psyched, ready to march on.”
Maxwell finished with four goals and three assists, Harker had three goals and an assist, while Korin and Ferreira both scored twice.
Mahopac will move onto the semifinals for the first time since 2012, when Harker and Maxwell were freshman. That year, it was Mamaroneck that knocked the Indians out of the playoffs.
“We knew this game was a personal game,” Harker said. “We came completely ready, we scouted them well and we knew how to execute and what would give us the best advantage over them.”
For Mamaroneck, Cantwell had three goals and an assist, Olivia Jensen had two goals and an assist and Talia Land made 12 saves in net.
“Rocky has been a really good coach this year,” Mamaroneck’s Steigerwald, as senior captain said. “I think next year, they’ll have a really good season. There are a lot of upcoming players, so it should be good.”
Mahopac, the six seed, extended its winning streak to 12 games, and will play at second-seeded North Rockland on Tuesday in the semifinals. The Red Raiders defeated Mahopac 8-7 in early April.
“North Rockland is a good team, but we’re a different team from then,” Maxwell said. “We’re looking to come out on fire like we did today and play with heart, we can come away with the win.”
(Photos by Adrian Szkolar/The Journal News)