A week and a half ago, Amanda Garrity, Alyssa Iannuzzi and Olivia Stegner were preparing to finish out their junior varsity season. Now they will be playing valuable minutes for the defending state champions in the postseason. Massapequa is a team unaccustomed to late-season call-ups, but in a season in which it hasn’t been its dominant self, the rookies are hoping to provide a spark to help the team return to form.
Garrity’s first career varsity goal proved to be the game winner in Massapequa’s 2-0 win over Oceanside on Monday in the final game of the regular season. With the win, Massapequa secures the third seed in the playoffs behind Farmingdale and MacArthur.
Oceanside finishes the regular season at 6-6-2. After struggling to generate quality shots in the first half, Oceanside made some position changes in the second half and came out firing. The more aggressive attack generated better shot opportunities for Danielle Rossi and Melissa Horan and it’s an approach the Sailors should consider utilizing in the postseason. Keeper Emily Doherty, a vocal leader on the field, kept the game close with 11 saves.
The Chiefs are a strong possession style team with a formidable tandem on the attack in Rosie DiMartino and Erica Modena, strong play in the midfield with Taylor Kugler and Tori Maley and a keeper with a state title on her resume in Emmalee Meyer. Add that to their postseason experience and the recent infusion of youth and it combines to form a dangerous team that I wouldn’t want to face in the playoffs.
More postgame reaction from Monday’s win over Oceanside:
On her goal
“Erica ran up the field, she crossed it into me and I just one-touched it right into the right corner with my right foot.”
On feeling pressure after being called up:
“I kind of feel pressure because I feel like I have to do really good since I got pulled up. It’s not that bad, I got used to it. Coach has said that we’ve been doing really good since we were pulled up. I think we are making an impact.”
On joining such a successful program as a young player:
“It’s hard but it makes me feel better about myself. It makes me feel like I’m a good player and I deserve it.”
On heading into the playoffs:
“I think we’re going to be good in the playoffs. We’re going to do good from this point.”
On shutting down Oceanside:
“As a backline, we tried to stay soilid and, when we can, just get the ball flat and get it out of our backline as quick as possible.”
On importance of win:
“It kind of leveled out where we were in the standings so it was pretty important for us.”
On this year’s team compared to last year’s state championship team:
“Completely different team but as always, we stay together and have team chemistry and we get through anything.”
On being underdogs:
“We’re a brand new tram this year. But it’s the playoffs and it’s a new season…It’s just a bigger challenge and we’ll get over it.”
MASSAPEQUA COACH BRUCE STEGNER
On team’s performance:
“I thought we had a great first half and think we let our guard down a little bit in the second half. Probably a little to content, didn’t go forward as much. We could have played a little more offensively in the second half, we got a little conservative. Overall, it’s good progress for us."
On importance of win in final game of regular season:
“The second season is starting in a couple days. It’s good to get on the right track and have some momentum going into the playoffs. I think it’s a good starting point.”
On Amanda Garrity:
“She just came up from JV a week and a half ago. She does a great job. She’s been playing out wide for us. I think that’s the first cross we’ve scored on from the outside midfield all season. She adds a nice dimension to our team.”
On JV call ups:
“They’ve been getting a lot of playing time. They’re stepping in, starting, playing a lot of minutes.”
On not being the favorite this season:
“I think it’s great. We’re the underdogs for a change. It’s kind of nice, I look forward to that.”
On team’s confidence heading into playoffs:
“I think we’re starting to come around. It’s going to work out well.”