Farmingdale senior Melanie Raso thought the six goals she scored in yesterday's 16-5 victory over Massapequa were a career high, but she wasn't sure.
Turns out it was for Raso, who also had one assist in her new role. After three years of being the talented underclassman scorer on a team searching for its first state title, Raso and Farmingdale have new identities: Raso as a senior leader and the Dalers as defending state champions.
"We hope to do it again," said junior Jamie Leone, who had four goals and one assist. "I think there's even more pressure on us this year."
Farmingdale graduated its entire starting defense and goalie and Massapequa returned only one offensive starter, so there were plenty of new faces on the field for this old-time local rivalry. But it was where things remained the same that Farmingdale dominated.
Returning players Raso, Leone, Kelly McPartland (two goals, one assist), Alyssa Cardillo (one goal, two assists) and Maegan Meritz (one goal, one assist) led the offensive charge for the Dalers (3-0) in their Conference I opener.
"We needed to show up and win it,'' said Raso, who has 14 goals this season. "No matter what happens everyone always still doubts us when the season starts.''
If history is any indication, Massapequa (1-4) will get another shot at Farmingdale. The two teams have met in every Nassau Class A championship since it was established in 2005.
"This is always a big rivalry,'' Raso said. "This feels great."
Added Leone of the big scoring day: "It's best that it came against Massapequa."
Massapequa struck first on Danielle Doherty's goal 2:35 into the game. That lead held up for three minutes until Kyra Ochwat tied it off an assist from Cardillo. Raso broke the tie at 14:03 with the first of her three straight goals.
Leone followed Raso's run, scoring on a dazzling alley-oop from Meritz to make it 5-1 with 11:06 left. Raso scored what proved to be the game-winner when she gave the Dalers a 6-1 lead with 4:08 remaining in the half.
Massapequa's biggest game came from Kelsey O'Brien. The sophomore scored the second of her three goals in the opening minutes of the second half to cut it to 7-4, the closest Massapequa would get. Farmingdale scored nine of the game's final 10 goals, including three from Leone.
Said Raso: "We graduated a lot, but we also gained a lot. The freshmen are all working so well. Even when we come out they keep it up."