CORTLAND, N.Y. — Twins Amanda and Rachel Masullo know one speed: fast.
And with dynamic playmakers Jamie Ortega and Ava Barry face-guarded for much of Friday’s state Class A semifinal against North Rockland, the Masullos knew it would be their time to show off the best part of their games.
That’s exactly what they did. Amanda had six goals and Rachel had four goals and two assists in a decisive 20-7 win at SUNY-Cortland. Middle Country (17-3) plays Pittsford in the state final at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
“We know when Jamie and Ava are face-guarded, me and Amanda need to put a lot more effort into our playing,” Rachel said. “We know that it’s our time to step up when that happens.”
While Ortega (five goals, three assists) still made her presence felt, it was Centereach’s Masullos who helped Middle Country quickly get separation from North Rockland (18-3).
Consecutive goals from Amanda late in the first half pushed the lead to 8-1, including a score in which she picked up a ground ball and sprinted around nearly the entire defense for a close look at the cage.
“I’m just really proud of myself,” Amanda said. “I really did have this feeling in me today that I was just going to come out here and kill it, give it my all.”
Then when North Rockland threatened by closing the deficit to four goals at 9-5, Rachel scored twice to push the lead back to six.
Those two tallies started a run in which Middle Country scored 10 of the final 12 goals. Barry scored each of her three goals in that time. Her second goal gave Middle Country a 16-6 lead with 12:44 remaining, prompting the running clock that comes with a 10-goal advantage.
“I expect nothing less from them,” said Ortega, of Centereach. “They did what they had to do, and they did it amazingly.”
The team responded well to what Rachel called a serious case of anxiety leading up to the last of four games played on Cortland’s Red Field.
“We had hours before we were playing today, and the whole time I was just like, ‘I want to play now. I want to get it done. Let’s just go out and do it,’ ” she said.
Posting 20 goals was the type of response she said expected from a team hungry to capture its first state championship in program history.
Coach Lindsay Dolson said she wanted to give her team a little more freedom after narrowly beating Massapequa, 10-9, in the Long Island championship.
“They like to go, go, go,” Dolson said. “I’m just going to let them roll and do what they do.”
Few players go faster than the Masullos. “Even though we’re all such good players, I know that I have to step up and support this team,” Amanda said. “I think people just don’t know what to do when me and my sister step up.”
One thing they can do? Try and keep up.