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‘Pac Knocks Off Three-Time Defending Champions

FREEDOM PLAINS – Sure, the Mahopac High School girls soccer team had already lost twice to Arlington during the regular season.

Sure, Arlington was the three-time defending Section 1, Class AA champion, including a state title mixed in there.

But don’t call it an upset.

Because the Indians aren’t.

Seeded fourth and playing red-hot soccer the last month or so, Mahopac went into Arlington on Thursday and beat the top-seeded Admirals, 2-1, in a semifinal game.

The Indians will play No. 2 North Rockland for the title on Sunday at 5 p.m. at, ironically, neutral Arlington High School.

“We really haven’t won anything yet,” Mahopac standout Mia Klammer said, “but this is one of the best feelings ever, to beat the three-time sectional champions.”

Mahopac actually fell behind but didn’t fold, scoring twice in the second half – including the game-winning header by Marissa McCrney with less than two minutes to play off a gorgeous ball from Hailey Pereira.

The conditions – rainy and slippery – didn’t make it any easier for either team but Mahopac continued to play an aggressive game pushing the ball on offense, and swarming on defense.

“Our defense, I don’t even have the words,” Klammer said. “They are the best group of girls out there and can’t wait to see what comes next.”

As for the Admirals, it will take a few days to regroup, for sure.

“Many people think that the Arlington name just brings success but no one understands the offseason work and dedication that these girls do,” Arlington coach Kelley Hand said. “Nothing is handed to us. They work for it and we could not be prouder of these 26 girls that wear their heart on their sleeve for the sport of soccer. We are disappointed we couldn’t give our seniors the ending they deserve but we cannot wait to work toward the season of 2020.’

Please enjoy this photo gallery from photographer Chris Cornell.

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