Alicia D'Aoust scored on a header, right?
No. But she made spectators believe she did during Smithtown West's 3-0 win over North Babylon in League III girls soccer Monday. That's because, when she kicked the ball in, her right leg was over her head. So it was actually a foot-over-the-header.
"I was just trying to get a foot on it,'' D'Aoust said. "I didn't think there was that high of a percentage of it going in.''
Amanda Sheridan served a well-placed corner kick into the box that seemed impossible for the 5-4 D'Aoust to get a foot on. But she stepped in front of a defender, leaped, elevated her leg above her head -- and flicked the ball off her heel and into the net behind her for a 1-0 lead with 23:16 to go in the half. Because no player was directly in front of her, a high kick wasn't called.
It was a move that would impress a gymnast. So with such flexibility, would D'Aoust consider gymnastics?
"Probably not,'' the sophomore forward said with a laugh. "I'm a one-sport type of girl.''
Amanda Rainey scored on an actual header off a corner kick from Sheridan to make it 2-0 with 29:40 left. D'Aoust later sent a cross in the box to Sarah Harrington. Her shot was stopped by keeper Angela DiFazio, who had seven saves for North Babylon (5-2-2), but Jacquelyn Haft put in the rebound to give the Bulls (5-2-1) a 3-0 lead.
"We clicked in this game,'' said Harrington, who controlled the midfield along with Aanchal Jain. "We combined better and we finished on set pieces.''
Bernadette Savino (six saves) and the defense, led by Brianna Cuccia, Lisa DiGiulio and Emily Bernabeo, recorded its fifth straight shutout.
"We stepped on to the ball, didn't let them turn at all,'' Cuccia said. "They are really fast and we didn't have to chase.''
The chasing was left to North Babylon's defenders, who had the unenviable task of running after the speedy D'Aoust. She ended up using her legs in the win, but not necessarily in the way that was expected.
"That's what great players do,'' North Babylon coach Steve Corrado said. "She beat us to the ball. All she had to do was get a body part on it. And she got a body part on it.''
By putting her foot over her head.