One goal was all the Centereach girls’ soccer team needed to seal the deal Tuesday as the Cougars snapped their five-game losing streak with a 1-0 nonleague win over Miller Place.
“We possessed pretty well,” said sophomore sweeper Amanda Fabris, who made many stops for Centereach and pushed the ball back into Miller Place’s zone. “I think we stayed together well as a pack and filled in the gaps when we needed to.”
After some back-and-forth action and some saved shots by Miller Place senior goalkeeper and co-captain Danielle Bambola, Centereach senior forward Ryan Schubert was able to sneak one by her off a penalty kick that just crossed the line into the front left corner of the net.
Momentum shifted the Cougars’ way after the goal, leading to more opportunities, but the team couldn’t capitalize, resulting in a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes.
“In the first half, I obviously didn’t have as clean of a save as I should have, and it hurt us, but in the second half I wasn’t afraid of the adrenaline coming in,” Bambola said. “The first half we could’ve picked it up a little more, but in the second half we came out hard-working and determined. We might have lost, but it was a close game and we worked really hard.”
Both teams pressed the defense and had multiple shots on goal, but it was a goalkeeper battle between Bambola and junior co-captain Annalie Buscarino, who made diving and jumping saves to keep the score unchanged.
“I think we can finish a little bit better, but I we got a lot of good shots off,” Miller Place freshman forward Abbey Curcio said. “We just get unlucky sometimes. Eventually we’ll put them in the back of the net.”
As time ticked off the clock, the Panthers team grew stronger and hungrier, connecting passes and shooting on net, but was unable to get the equalizer.
“I thought, in the second half, we played extremely well and it gave us a lot of things to build on going forward,” Miller Place head coach Tom Veryzer said. “I think we’ve shown improvement every single day because of how hard this group has worked. Going forward, we would like to finish more of our opportunities, but we know that will come if we keep at it and keep a positive attitude.”