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Leftovers: Ward Melville vs. Northport

Northport's Gabby Gallo makes sliding save

Northport's Gabby Gallo makes sliding save Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

These were some of the quotes that didn’t make the article after Ward Melville’s 2-1 win over Northport on Saturday. But we don’t let those words go to waste. Just re-heat ‘em and read up.

Kim Geiger tied the score at 1 with 6:06 left in the first half. (The senior was one of half the “Partners in Crime” forward tandem along with Samantha Jacobson last year. I forgot to ask if she’s flying solo or has found a new field hockey accomplice. And that would’ve been better than 90% of the questions I actually asked. But, here goes…)

What happened on the goal? “Katie Koester went to the goal and she angled her stick to shoot it, then she saw me and she dished it off and I went to the ball and hit it in.”
Close games with Northport: “They’re one of the more aggressive teams we play and they’re always tough.”
On Tigers goalie Gabby Gallo: “She was really good. It’s like she always knew where I was about to hit it. There was one point where she was on the ground and we kept trying to lift [the ball] but she just kept blocking ‘em. We had a bunch of corners against them and she definitely stood her ground, so I give her credit.”

Maggie Vachris assisted on Pryor’s go-ahead goal. Vachris was just called up to varsity earlier this season and has already paid dividends in big games. The sophomore’s first goal was the equalizer against Shoreham-Wading River on Sept. 26, and Ward Melville went on to win, 3-2.

Being on this team: “It’s a lot of pressure because this is a really good team… I’m learning something new every day and it’s hard to put together everything I’m learning and apply it in a game, but we have great coaches and teammates helping me out.”

Ward Melville coach Shannon Watson
Four-game win streak: “It’s nice to be back on the upswing and hopefully it instills a little more confidence in the girls.”
The 33 penalty corners: “Although our corners were high, they were productive. The girls got shots out of them, which is what we want. [Gallo] did a solid job and was a wall back there. If you’re gonna have 33 corners and not score a whole lot, that tells you something about their defense. Props to them. I don’t think our corners were weak. Stuff to work on, but we did get shots off and that’s a plus.”
Controlling the ball and being on the attack for most of the game: “The girls played a full 60 minutes today, which was good. I think even more so in the second half they played as a unit… Our defense is something we focus on every year – individual as well as team defense. I think they’re starting to play solid defense together, which makes a difference once we push up on attack.”
The 4-0 loss to Sachem East being a possible turning point and Pryor’s saying this team can’t rest on past success: “It’s OK that we’re not the same team. This is this year’s team and they have to make their own legacy… They were able to take [the Sachem East] game and propel them in the right direction, hopefully for the rest of the season.”
Performance of Andre’ Bongiorno: “She’s been doing a really nice job for us. She puts so much heart and soul into it and it’s contagious. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Vachris’ performance thus far: “Maggie actually started her first game against Shoreham and scored her first goal. She didn’t see a lot of playing time at the beginning of the season, but she was always taking the game in from the sidelines. When it was her time to go in, she knew what was needed and she was able to step in and be productive. She soaks up everything and it shows.”

Northport coach Gina Walling
The frustration of losing another one-goal game to Ward Melville: “I’m proud of my team. We always play them as hard as we can, but it’s always tough to lose a one-goal game.”
Any positives to extract? “We can’t give up that many corners, that’s for sure. That’s something we’ll need to work on. But knowing that they had that many corners and we held them, and it was a one-goal game, it says a lot about our goalie. She did a great job.”

Ward Melville goalie Andre’ Bongiorno
About her sister: “I have a twin sister, Abigail, on the team and she pushes me. She’s my motivation.” [A chorus of “aww” from her teammates followed]
Her team being 6-2 overall: “It feels really good. I know that a lot of teams are focusing on us, but I believe that we can do it and we will.”
Becoming the starter after learning behind all-state goalie Lauren Tarantino, now at UConn: “It’s great. Lauren taught me so much that I still take with me into every game. I’m grateful for that and I’m proud to be able to show what I learned from Lauren and our goalie coach.”

Vanessa “Wes” Pryor
Thoughts on Northport: “They’re always aggressive and they’re at us. They’re not afraid of us, which is a good thing. We love that because it makes for great competition.”
Rebounding after the losses to Sayville and Sachem East: “Those losses made us better. We learned from them.”
The Shoreham-Wading River win: “It was intense. We really stepped up in that game and I think that was our best performance. We didn’t let their intensity or their talented players scare us. We moved the ball well and we did a lot of things well.”


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