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IT’S JUST SO 2020: SCORELESS DRAW FORCES MAHOPAC TO SHARE TITLE

Girls Soccer Championship Game Vs. Somers Ends On Sour Note

SOMERS – Hyperbole aside, this was one of the greatest high school girls soccer games you will ever see end in a scoreless draw.

It was No. 4 Mahopac vs. No. 2 Somers for the Putnam/Northern Westchester Regional Championship, and every superlative you can think of applied. It was brilliant technical soccer, passionate ball-striking, tactical defense, aggressiveness on both ends of the pitch, spectacular goalie play, exciting individual play, unlucky breaks and two teams whose players fought through exhaustion to produce an instant classic.

It was all of that and more.

It just didn’t end that way.

After 80 minutes of regulation, two 10-minute overtime periods, two 5-minute golden goal overtimes, Mahopac and Somers ended the day by sharing the title, as the game did not go to a penalty kick shootout to determine the winner.

Section 1 played the contest under the New York State Public High School Athletic Association rule of sharing the championship when there is no longer the need, or chance, for advancement. For example, Mahopac went to penalty kicks against Yorktown on Thursday in the tournament semifinals because a winner was needed to move on to the title game. This time, with a state tournament already canceled, no teams were qualifying beyond the local level.

It did not sit well with players, coaches and fans.

“My team and myself are extremely upset that we didn’t go into PK’s after making it through all of the overtimes,” Mahopac defender Marissa McCarney said. “Sharing the championship is better than losing, but I think if we went into double overtime and PKs in the semi-finals then it should’ve been the same rules for finals, in my opinion.”

It was McCarney who helped anchor a terrific defense, but ultimately it was the phenomenal performance of Indians goalkeeper Maddy McCrosson, who made an astonishing 24 saves as Somers outshot Mahopac, 30-7. And, as is usually the case in games, McCrosson and the Indians had the beneficiary of some luck as the Tuskers hit the crossbar or post in the first half, second half and first overtime.

“I thought that the team as a whole played an amazing game,” Mahopac standout Piper Klammer said. “Somers definitely outplayed us and had a lot more opportunities, but our defense and our goalie never gave up and kept fighting. I personally think that they are the ones that kept us in the game.”

Klammer said that, all things considered, she’s not necessarily upset with sharing the title. The season was already truncated by the Oct. 14 start, more than six weeks later than usual. Mahopac also had to deal with a depleted roster from COVID-19 and injury, including Klammer’s sister Mia.

“I personally feel that if we had our whole starting team that the outcome of the game may have been different, but I am thankful for the JV players that were pulled up and contributed to the final games of the season,” Piper Klammer said. “I am also thankful that we were able to finish our season considering that other sports have been cut short. The entire season was definitely different with Corona, but we never stopped fighting and I am happy to share the championship with Somers, although I wish it was a different outcome. I also would’ve loved to finish my sophomore year with my sister at my side on the offensive side.”

 

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