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Girls’ Soccer Exorcises Devils

October 12, 2017

Yesterday afternoon the girls’ soccer team took another huge step toward a playoff berth with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Center Moriches. With the win the Bears need just one victory in their final two games to secure a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2013. They topped both of their remaining opponents, Port Jeff and Smithtown Christian, by lopsided scores of 6-2 and 5-2, respectively. Yesterday’s win also ended a five-game losing streak to Center Moriches, a perennial Class B power, dating back to 2009.

In the first match-up of the season on Sept. 16th, the Bears fell to the Red Devils, who have been ranked as high as 19th in the New York State Sportswriters Association Class B rankings, in overtime by a score of 3-2. This time around the Bears came up with several key stops and big goals to keep the surging Devils at bay.

Leka Lee-Maeba opened the scoring for the Bears in the 11th minute by winning a ball on the right sideline, beating two defenders, and tucking a shot between the keeper and near-side post. Less than five minutes later Lee-Maeba struck again, this time with a beautiful cross that Jalana Cooks headed into the side netting for her first career goal to give the Bears an early 2-0 edge. The Devils halved their deficit with 12:58 remaining in the half on a strike from outside the box that was just out of the reach of Sophia DiLavore. Center had several chances to equalize in the waning moments, but DiLavore came up with two big stops to keep the Brook in the lead.

In the early moments of the second half the Devils continued to ramp up the offensive pressure. They nearly equalized on a high-arching 45-yard hit that rattled the cross bar, and it became clear that the one-goal margin would not stand. The Bears went to work and with 26 minutes remaining Beth Felix squeezed a shot between the near post and the keeper, courtesy of a great pass from Lee-Maeba, to extend the lead to 3-1. They did not have long to enjoy their breathing room as the Devils punched in a goal four minutes later on a brilliant snipe from 40 yards that found the top left corner.

DiLavore was once again called upon to preserve the lead and she did so, stoning a shot from just outside the six-yard box to maintain the 3-2 advantage. Then, with 10:42 remaining, the Bears sealed the win as Felix returned the favor to Lee-Maeba, serving a gorgeous free kick into the box where Lee-Maeba headed it home. DiLavore finished with 10 saves to anchor a defense that came up with some very big stops. Jessica Nwachukwu, Caroline Maglione, Alyssa Martinez, and Kira Brown all played key roles in holding the Devils to just two goals.

The Bears are back in action tomorrow afternoon in a home match-up with Smithtown Christian.

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