Soccer

Bronxville beats Valhalla in the BroncoFest final on Warble's goal

Bronxville's Devin Portner tries to head the ball over Valhalla goalie Sofia Mazza during the championship game of the Broncofest soccer tournament at Bronxville High School Sept. 17, 2016.

Bronxville’s Devin Portner tries to head the ball over Valhalla goalie Sofia Mazza during the championship game of the Broncofest soccer tournament at Bronxville High School Sept. 17, 2016.

Bronxville's Mason Warble scores on Valhalla goalie Sofia Mazza during the championship game of the Broncofest soccer tournament at Bronxville High School Sept. 17, 2016.

Bronxville’s Mason Warble scores on Valhalla goalie Sofia Mazza during the championship game of the Broncofest soccer tournament at Bronxville High School Sept. 17, 2016.

BRONXVILLE- An early goal by Mason Warble proved to be the difference in Bronxville’s 1-0 win over Valhalla in Saturday’s BroncoFest soccer tournament final.

Warble scored in the 11th minute, lining up a shot from inside the right side of the box that zipped past Valhalla goalkeeper Sofia Mazza.

“She’s a very strong player for us,” Bronxville head coach Don Cupertino said of his senior captain.

Despite the small margin of victory, the Broncos looked like the superior team for the majority of the game, winning most of the 50/50 balls. In total, Bronxville took 22 shots on goal, pressuring Valhalla’s defense the entire game. If not for the Mazza’s strong performance, the Broncos’ lead would have been larger.

One of the key offensive players for Bronxville was eighth-grader Alex Doukas, who is starting in place of senior Beth Finley, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered during lacrosse season.

Finley, who was Bronxville’s best offensive player last season, is not expected to return to the soccer field this year.

“It’s so amazing getting to play with the older girls. It’s just amazing, I’ve learned so much,” Doukas said after the game.

Doukas is not the only eighth-grader who starts for Bronxville; Victoria Ruffo is a starter on defense for the Broncos.

In total, Bronxville has five 8th-graders on its roster.

“They both play very well for us. Alex is a good little player up front, and Victoria does a great job in the back,” Cupertino said.

The Broncos will look to build on the momentum of winning their home tournament, as they prepare for the upcoming week. On Monday, they will travel across the Tappan Zee Bridge to take on Pearl River, one of the top teams in Section 1 and a perennial Class A contender.

“Winning our tournament is always good for us,” Cupertino said. “We have a big game coming up this week and this helped us prepare.”

Player of the game: Mason Warble, Bronxville. In addition to scoring the game’s lone goal, she also controlled play in the midfield. Honorable mention to Valhalla’s Mazza.

Turning point: After Warble’s goal, Bronxville was in the driver’s seat the rest of the way and was able to focus more on the defensive side of the ball.

Stat Line: For Bronxville, Warble had a goal and goalkeeper Maddie Coyne made nine saves. For Valhalla, Mazza made 21 saves.

Quotable: “This was an amazing win for us. It really is so good for our confidence going forward.” Doukas said. “The whole team played really great. It was awesome.”

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