Hope Breslin's goal helps Massapequa top Northport, 3-2, and advance to state semifinals
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Just before the playoffs began, everyone on the Massapequa girls soccer team had that phrase tattooed on their wrists.
OK, so the tattoos were only temporary, but they last two weeks before fading. The team calculated that there were 24 days until the state championship game, and two rounds of tattoos therefore would last through a title run.
Well, after Saturday night, the Chiefs plan on giving them a little touch-up before heading upstate. Massapequa came from behind twice to defeat previously unbeaten Northport, 3-2, in the Long Island Class AA championship game at Tully Park in New Hyde Park. The Chiefs advanced to the state semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Cortland.
"Now we gotta clean them up and keep them fresh," said Nicole Mahin, the mastermind behind the tattoos.
With the score tied at 2, Hope Breslin ran through a defender in front of the net and used her body to knock in a loose ball, giving the Chiefs a one-goal lead with 12:29 remaining.
"I was going for a header," she said, "but my whole body went through it and as I was falling down, the ball came with me."
As the keeper came out to retrieve the ball, Kristen Bishoff fought through a shielding defender and fired into an open net to pull Massapequa even at 2 with 21:59 left.
On a Northport corner kick with 3:20 to go, defender Kristin Muir headed away a potential tying goal and keeper Katie Hatziyianis recovered the rebound to preserve the lead.
"We have a bunch of fighters on this team," said Hatziyianis, who made seven saves. "When the odds are against us, that's when we pull through."
Miki Martinov scored on a free kick from 35 yards out just 1:01 into the game to give Northport a 1-0 lead. Breslin then pulled up from 20 yards out and fired into the back of the net to tie the score at 1 with 28:17 left.
Just two minutes later, Martinov headed in a corner kick from Vincenza Patrone to put Northport on top 2-1.
It was Taylor Kugler who insisted on adding the line about heart on the tattoo, and that's just what the Chiefs showed in coming back.
"The tattoos really described us," Kugler said. "These are my sisters playing alongside me. We are one team, we share one heart and we play as a family."