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Mike Gavin

Mike Gavin joined Newsday in November of 2007 and spent nearly two years doing box scores while patiently awaiting his big break. That came when he was assigned to do the highly-popular Ducks Watch, a weekly interview with a member of the Long Island Ducks. The high school sports staff then took him in as one of their own and he has since covered girls soccer, boys basketball and other miscellaneous sports.

Mike graduated from Stony Brook University with a major in business management and a minor in journalism. He is known around the office as the “Wild Card,” but prefers that you don’t ask how the nickname originated.

Dana Scheriff's two goals lead North Babylon to League III victory

North Babylon's Dana Scheriff (8) moves the ball
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North Babylon's Dana Scheriff (8) moves the ball upfield during a girls soccer game against Copiague on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.(Credit: Richard T. Slattery)

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There's a new sheriff in town. Her name is Dana Scheriff.

The North Babylon forward has been laying down the law on offense. With two more goals in a 6-1 girls soccer win over Copiague Wednesday, she increased her season total to 13, which leads Suffolk.

"This year I gained a lot of confidence in my game that I didn't have last year," she said. "I go on the field hoping not to walk off with any regrets."

Not many regrets this year, just a whole lot of goals.

Scheriff, who is adept with both feet and makes quality runs off the ball to put herself in scoring position, has scored in seven of eight games while leading North Babylon (5-1) to the top of League III.

Wednesday, she received a through ball, eluded the goalkeeper and tapped the ball into the net to give North Babylon a 3-0 lead midway through the first half. It was her fifth multigoal game of the season and brought her closer to tripling her total of five goals from last season.

Scheriff's breakout season on the offensive end has been aided by the emergence of sophomore Julia Katsock. Call her the deputy of the midfield.

"Julia has a good eye," Scheriff said. "She knows the speed and ability of the player so where to play the ball."

Katsock, a distributor with speed, has filled the playmaking role that Scheriff played in her first two seasons on varsity.

"I try and distribute evenly and get it to my players," Katsock said. "I know that no matter who I get it to they are all confident with the ball."

That includes forwards Allison Kennedy and Amanda Wroblewski, who have already helped the Bulldogs surpass the 28 goals they scored last season.

Kennedy had a goal and an assist Wednesday. Dominique Melito opened the scoring 1:57 in.

Copiague goalkeeper Maraya Jones played better than the score indicates, often coming off her line to challenge. She made 19 saves, including multiple diving stops. Nicolette Vasseur knocked in a goal for Copiague with 4:51 remaining.

But the Bulldogs' starting defense -- led by captain Angela DiFazio, a goalkeeper who closes down angles well, and her lieutenants in the backfield: Allyson Eifert, Diana Orsini and Alexis Rutha -- had held the Eagles scoreless before taking a seat on the bench.

"We're good at moving the ball around the field," Rutha said. With Scheriff up top, it "takes a lot of pressure off the defense because we know there is someone who can finish it. It's our job to defend our goal and get the ball to her."

In other words, serve and protect.

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