It took all of 47 seconds for the North Babylon girls soccer players to reclaim what they felt was rightfully theirs.
“We were just really mad that we lost the lead,” midfielder Sierra Echevarria said. “This was a game we really wanted. We really needed this to push us forward.”
That push started from midfield when the Bulldogs wasted little time after Deer Park tied the score at 1 on Kasey Dorney’s penalty-kick goal with 7:43 remaining in the game.
North Babylon’s Alexa Scaglione led a charge down the field and found Echevarria, who scored the game’s winning goal with 6:56 left in the host Bulldogs’ 2-1 victory over Deer Park in Suffolk IV soccer Wednesday. It was North Babylon’s eighth annual Kicks for Cancer fundraiser game.
“I was very excited,” Echevarria said. “My shots never go in the back of the net, this one did. It felt really good to score in a big game like this.”
North Babylon coach Steve Corrado emphasizes to his team the importance of attacking following a goal.
“We always talk about two minutes after a goal and five minutes left in the half, how it’s the most vulnerable time for a team,” Corrado said. “And we try to turn it up after every goal the next two minutes because teams work their butts off to tie the game and sometimes you have the tendency to get on your heels for a second.”
North Babylon (6-4) kept Deer Park off the scoreboard for most of the game with the strong backline play of Nicola Calabrese, Taylor Calvente, Nia Griffith, Chloe Jean-Charles and Kaila Jean-Charles. Corrado gave Kaila Jean-Charles the responsibility of shadowing Dorney, who has eight goals this season for Deer Park (5-5).
“It means a lot to know that (coach) has my back and he can count on me playing one of the toughest people out there,” Kaila Jean-Charles said. “Moving forward, I know I can handle anyone.”
And any time a play broke through the defense, Aubrey Gunther was there to make highlight saves, finishing with seven stops.
“If it wasn’t for some of those key saves,” Corrado said, “it could have been 2, 3-0 before we had an opportunity to score a goal.”
The Bulldogs’ Samantha Quigley scored the game’s first goal, intercepting a clear attempt with 14:09 remaining.
“It’s always motivating because we’re always honoring someone we care about,” Quigley said. “Then playing a team like that who we have a rivalry with and be able to come out with a win was pretty good, pretty rewarding.”