Sacred Heart's Mae Mullen heads in the winning goal in...

Sacred Heart's Mae Mullen heads in the winning goal in double overtime in the CHSAA state semifinals at St. John's University in Queens, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Not even a dislocated shoulder could keep Mae Mullen off the field.

The senior forward injured herself in the first half and sat until the final minute of double overtime. In the final minute she came on and leaped inside the box to head in the winning goal.

“My team deserves this,” Mullen said. “Every single person on and off the field worked so hard. They worked so hard, so really I just wanted to do it for them — the people who played all 100 minutes.”

Mullen’s header rolled into the net with 24.8 seconds left to lead Sacred Heart to a 2-1 victory over St. Mary’s of Buffalo in the CHSAA Class AA girls soccer state semifinals at St. John's Belson Stadium on Friday. 

Sacred Heart will play St. Joseph by the Sea at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Belson Stadium in the CHSAA Class AA state final.

Charlotte Cosgrove initiated the winning play when the ball was kicked back to her at midfield. She sent a high cross into the box where Kaylee Fravert and Mullen both jumped for the header. Fravert earned the assist as the ball initially deflected off her head.

Cosgrove initially was on offense during the overtime periods, but coach Gabe Ramos switched her and Julianna Bivona for the final minute of play — and it worked out in their favor.

“From a defensive standpoint, I can see the entire field in front of me,” Bivona said. “So, I kind of know how their defense is moving and how they attack us, and how we can transition and beat them.

“I feel like going forward on offense, I know the gaps and I know which players I’m able to take on, where the space is. Going back and forth kind of gives me an advantage in terms of going forward.”

Bivona, a senior, scored the team’s first goal to tie the score at 1 with 19:32 remaining in the second half.

Sacred Heart (9-3-2) dominated possession and shots even when trailing. Nine minutes before Bivona’s tying score, the Spartans had a goal called back for offsides. And with 4:53 left in double overtime, another offsides call kept them off the board.

It didn’t discourage Bivona and her teammates, however.

“It kind of fires us up because we know that we’re right there,” Bivona said. “And we know that we have it in us to get the goals back and to just work twice as hard to actually put us on the board.”


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