She liked it so much, she did it twice.
Kaitlin Tobin hasn’t always considered herself an offensive force, but the Mattituck/Southold midfielder admits she may need to change her mindset after recording back-to-back winning goals for the Tuckers against Rocky Point and Mount Sinai.
“I think it’s having a hunger for the ball,” Tobin said. “When you’re able to finish in such a tight game, it means a lot to everyone. It’s a great feeling to make your team so happy.”
Tobin scored with 1:20 left in overtime, off an assist from Riley Hoeg, to lift Mattituck/Southold to an 8-7 victory over Rocky Point on May 1. She followed up two days later, scoring off an assist from Julie Seifert with 5:28 in regulation to give the Tuckers a 5-4 victory over Mount Sinai, earning Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors.
Both goals came after lengthy Mattituck/Southold possessions and Tobin said she knew she’d be able to find the back of the net as soon as she felt the ball land in her stick.
“It all slowed down, almost like it was in slow motion,” said Tobin, a junior at Southold. “Everything in a game is always moving so fast, but when you catch the ball and make a cut, in that moment, it’s perfect. I saw where I wanted to shoot it, placed it and that’s it.”
Tobin added that she’s spent most of the season working on her approach in the offensive zone. She’s watched film, analyzed her game and even drawn inspiration from her teammates, particularly fellow midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg, who Tobin credits with making her “a better player.”
“[Mackenzie] is always cutting and moving in front of the net,” Tobin said. “Seeing that, it encourages me to keep moving and want the ball in these big situations.”
Tobin rarely slows down now, constant cuts and her head on a swivel, looking for a shooting lane or a sliver of space in the net.
She’s scored 14 goals and dished out two assists in 16 games, but according to coach Matt Maloney, it’s her finesse game that’s even more impressive. Tobin isn’t simply racking up shots, she’s making calculated moves and leading the Tuckers to key victories.
“She’s been getting better at making her shots count,” Maloney said. “It’s not just about getting the shot off, it’s about finding the back of the net and making it matter for her and her teammates.”
Although she relished the moment of scoring the winners, Tobin said she doesn’t want that to be the highlight of her season. Now, she’s got a different back-to-back in mind, looking to lead Mattitcuk/Southold to its second straight state Class D championship.
“We can’t let up,” Tobin said. “We really have to stay focused and we’re all looking to go back all the way.”