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Postgame: Sachem North vs. Ward Melville

Ward Melville's Lizzy Rullan, left, slide tackles the

Ward Melville's Lizzy Rullan, left, slide tackles the ball from Sachem North's Emily Jones in the Suffolk high school girls soccer game. (Oct. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Additional postgame reaction from Wednesday’s match-up between two of the best in League I as Sachem North defeated Ward Melville, 2-1. Leanna Curcio scored the game-winner with 14:16 remaining to hand Ward Melville its first loss of the season and pull Sachem North into a tie for first place.

LEANNA CURCIO

On her game winning goal:

“The goalie came out and I kind of just tapped it. It almost didn’t make it over the line. Ashlee Thompson followed up and it went over the line and that’s how I got the goal…It was amazing.”

On the big win over Ward Melville:

“We came out, we did our best, we tried really hard and we were all in it.”

On how Sachem North can build on the win:

“We practice as intense as we just played that game. We try to win every game like that.”

EMILY JONES

On her goal to break a scoreless tie:

”It was a corner kick. Devin McMahon, she crossed it low on the ground and Ashlee Thompson dummied it, went right through her legs, and I was in the right place at the right time. It was my first goal of the season.”

On the win:

“It feels amazing. I’m actually speechless right now. I’m really proud of my team and how hard we worked.”

On how Sachem North can build on the win:

“Just keep playing hard and keep our heads up.”

BRIANNA HARRIS

On her role as sweeper:

“My job is to keep everybody marked and we did a good job not letting them turn against us.”

On Sachem North’s defense philosophy:

“To get the ball out. Do whatever you’ve got to do.”

On the win over Ward Melville:

“It feels awesome. We need to keep working hard and not take this win for granted.”

On if Sachem North has a deep playoff run in them:

“I think so.  I don’t like to say. I think we are a really good team with really good chemistry.”

ERIN McNULTY

On the win over Ward Melville:

“We were tied at 1 at the half. We knew we had to come out hard, we knew they were going to come out hard. We just had to finish…It’s huge. Now we just have to keep going and not let this win get us too bigheaded.”

On defensive strategy:

“We kind of try to just get everything out as quickly as we can. We try not to let the other team play offense. Once they get their offense going they start connecting passes and things can happen. That’s when you get beat.”

COACH CLAUDE AMALLOBIETA

On beating Ward Melville:

“We pulled it out by kind of bending but not breaking. We had limited opportunities on the offensive end. We wound up scoring off a corner kick where we, very heads up, got the ball in play right away, would up with someone unmarked putting the ball almost into an empty goal.

On the corner kick goal:

“It’s not necessarily a set play, if we’re close enough to the ball and we recognize it early before the defense is set up, that’s our first option. It was the first time that we actually, on a corner kick, went there with a sense of urgency and it paid off.”

On Emily Jones:

“I don’t really consider starters and non-starters. There are players who play in a close game and those who don’t. Emily doesn’t start but she’s part of an outside midfield rotation. She is essentially a starter but not on the field when the whistle blows. Every close game she’s on the field in some capacity.”

On Leanna Curcio’s game-winning goal:

“She anticipated really well. We tell the girls if they can’t win the ball, to play the miss, anticipate where it’s going to be if that person misses it and she did a good job. A player who gets limited minutes but has good speed, a good nose for the ball, and she gets her first varsity goal.”

On how the defense contained Ward Melville:

“Barely…Don’t take chances, it was try to just slow them down and keep them in front. First half, we didn’t do such a good job, second half a little bit better but they are very dangerous.”

On defensive strategy:

“We don’t build out of the back, there are some teams that do. Personnel wise, we don’t really have that ability. We do very often try to bypass the midfield, get it to the offensive third. Team speed, not all over the field are we fast, but one of our strengths is speed up front so that’s another reason we try to skip over the midfield and get to a mismatch.”
 

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