On one of Cold Spring Harbor's goals, the ball moved 70 yards upfield on what seemed to be eight passes by eight sets of feet.
So after the game, all players on the field during the goal were asked to step forward and raise a hand if they had a touch on the ball during the possession.
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Only three hands went up.
Julia Schubauer, Brooke Jenson and Teressa Fazio orchestrated a picture-perfect series of give-and-gos, methodically advancing the ball with short, precise passes to seal a 2-0 season-opening girls soccer win against Carle Place Monday in Conference BC.
"That is what we are trying to look like all game long,'' coach Steve Cacioppo said. "Control, short passes, move the ball on the ground until we get that open shot.''
The origin of this particular open shot was in the backfield as Fazio received the ball on the left flank. She crossed it to the middle of the field to Schubauer, who immediately played it to Jenson on the right flank. She sent a cross back to Schubauer, who fired it in for a 2-0 lead with 26:24 left in the game.
"We have the ability to keep possession for a bunch of passes and get it from one end of the field to the other without the other team even touching the ball,'' Schubauer said.
Katie Hudson opened the scoring from straightaway off a through ball by Fazio with about 12 minutes left in the first half.
"The strength of our team is that we can finish off any ball,'' Hudson said. "We have the potential to do anything.''
That was all the support keeper Stephanie Mahder and the Katherine Rueger-led defense needed. Mahder had three saves, including a full extension leap to tip away a shot by Jessica Covas.
Karla Gomes had 11 saves, including a series of diving stops.
Cold Spring Harbor came within penalty kicks of the state final last season. If it continues to display ball control and defensive tenacity, it could return to Cortland in November. "Hopefully,'' Rueger said, "we can get a little further than last year.''
They'll use short passes to get there.