The Southampton girls soccer team had its best week of the season last week, going 2-1 in three games to improve to 2-4 on the season, 1-3 in League VIII play.
The Lady Mariners started the week by crushing last-place Amityville, 7-0, at home on September 24. They followed that win with a 3-0 home loss to Central Islip (4-0) the next day, but bounced back the following day—their third game in as many days—by edging Pierson, 1-0, at home under the lights at homecoming.
Margarita Trujillo scored the only goal in the win over Pierson, off an assist from Julia Dudley, just 30 seconds into the second half. While Southampton had just one goal, it did have a noticeable advantage in possession for much of the game against Pierson. In the second half, Caroline Rumph hit the post on a free kick that would have put her team up 2-0.
Southampton head coach Jen Obert said her team was boosted by the return of senior sweeper Noelle Crough, who just made her return to the team after suffering an injury in the preseason.
“Noelle has a big kick and commands the defense with ease,” Obert said. She added that she was also happy with the effort of goalie Corin Vasquez, who made four saves for the shutout. Vasquez is in her first season as the starting goalie. “She has worked really hard to fill the position,” Obert said. “I told her before the game that we needed her to be more aggressive, and she really stepped up, timing her attacks perfectly.”
Pierson head coach Lisa DiRussa said that Southampton was able to dictate the pace of the game. “I think that as a team we need to make a better effort toward winning the 50-50 balls,” she said. “Which will allow us to control the tempo of the game a bit and further allow us to play proactively rather than reacting to what the other team is doing.”
In the win over Amityville, four different players scored for Southampton—Trujillo, Coco Ramgopal and Rumph each found the net twice, while Mackenzie Evans also scored. Dudley and Rumph each had two assists, while Trujillo also had an assist.
In the loss to Central Islip, all three goals were scored in the first half. Obert said her team got off to a slow start, but she was pleased with the way they responded in the second half.
“We started off weak, not passing to feet,” Obert said. “Central Islip is intimidating, and they use a few tactics that many coaches wouldn’t teach or want their players to use. It takes a while for my girls to adjust every time we play them. We decided at halftime that our goal was to not let them get to us, and if we kept them from scoring again, that would be a victory for us. We really stepped it up in the second half.”
Before losing to Southampton, the Lady Whalers were shut out, 7-0, by League VII co-leader Port Jefferson (5-0) in an away match.
“They are an excellent team, which we knew going in,” DiRussa said. “They play a controlled, confident game. A lesson from that game is to once again do our best to win the 50-50 balls, and to pressure, be aggressive, but also play with smarts.”
On Saturday, Pierson fell to 1-4 in League VII, 1-6 overall, with a 3-0 loss at home against Babylon (5-0), the co-leader with Port Jeff.
DiRussa said she tried to focus on more than wins and losses with her team last week. “Over the course of the week, the team discussed ‘performance goals’ rather than ‘outcome goals,’” she said. “For the Babylon game, each of the girls was asked to work on two or three aspects of their personal performance. In breaking the game down in this way, we are able to reflect on how we are improving as individuals and as a team.”
ON THE SCHEDULE: Southampton—Tuesday, 10/1, vs. Hampton Bays, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/3, vs. Copiague, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/9, vs. William Floyd, 4:30 p.m. Pierson—Wednesday, 10/2, vs. Southold/Greenport, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 10/4, vs. Mercy, 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 10/8, at Smithtown Christian, 4:30 p.m.