In a scrum of blue and white jerseys just a few yards from the net, Manhasset's Stephanie Palma tried to do one thing.
"We were all just kind of trying to get it in because that was most important -- not really who scored it, but that it got in there," Palma said. "We were just hitting at the goalie, and it worked one of the times."
Palma's two other goals this season came in Manhasset's six-goal victory over Seaford on Sept. 17, hardly pivotal in the game's outcome. Monday, her score 8:32 into the second half was the winner for Manhasset (7-1) in a 1-0 Nassau Conference I field hockey game with host Cold Spring Harbor (4-3). Madeline Barcia had the assist.
"[Palma's] an opportunist. She'll score when she gets the opportunity to score," Manhasset coach Steve Sproul said. "She got that opportunity, and she made the best of it."
Cold Spring Harbor had its share of chances on goal, especially in the second half. Manhasset did not afford its opponent a penalty corner in the first 30 minutes of play, but the Seahawks got eight to Manhasset's two in the second half.
They came in bunches: three in a two-minute span just after the break, and five in a five-minute stretch from 11:35 to 6:57. The Manhasset defense never faltered, as goalie Jensen Polizzotto made 10 of her 12 saves in the second half to record her fifth shutout of the season.
Sproul said he was not surprised by the team's defensive effort. Manhasset has allowed just four goals to teams other than Garden City this season.
"We pride ourselves on our defense," he said. "Our defense will always rise to the occasion. We don't get scored on much. We don't normally give up goals that easily."