Kasey Mitchell was exactly where she wanted to be: about 5 yards from the net with an opportunity to jump-start the Mount Sinai girls lacrosse team's second half.
The senior co-captain raised her stick above the defense and fired a shot past Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy goalie Annie O'Brien. The Mustangs won, 9-4, Sunday, but that goal extended the lead to 5-3 three minutes after halftime and began a 4-0 run the visitors could not overcome.
Mitchell wanted to give Mount Sinai (6-0) that goal because of last season's concerning trend that was covered up by an 18-1 record.
"We did very well last year, but we had this thing where we played so hard the first half, and then the first three minutes of the second half, we came out really slow," she said. "This year, we're really focusing on getting the first couple of goals to seal the deal and get ahead right away."
Mount Sinai dominated possession in the second half, allowing only one chance near the net before Samantha McKenna cut the gap to 8-4 with 8:57 left.
"It's all about the last few minutes of the first half and the first few minutes of the second half," coach Al Bertolone said.
Sydney Pirreca made it 1-0 in the third minute, streaking down the middle and whipping in a shot from 10 yards. She had two goals, as did Mary Ellen Carron, Camryn Harloff and Mitchell.
Bertolone praised them but highlighted Jessica Demeo's performance. The senior had a goal, an assist, four ground balls and three second-assists. "The big thing for me is the decisions she makes," he said. "They're all really good decisions."
Bertolone said his team played nearly flawlessly against CBA (2-2). "It's a great experience playing someone from outside our county," Pirreca said.
Added Mitchell: "It's good to play teams from up there, because that's what we're facing at the end of the year."