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Bronxville comes on strong late, beats Valhalla 3-1

BRONXVILLE -The Bronxville-Valhalla field hockey game opened with a Valhalla goal being disallowed.

It closed with host Bronxville showing just how it has won a dozen games this season.

The 12-3 Broncos, spreading the field with multiple-touch passes, scored twice in the last 12:34 of the game to pull away for a 3-1 win.

Valhalla's Lauren Kreder, left, tries to keep the ball from Bronxville's Hadley Barr during their game at Bronxville High School on Friday. The Broncos defeated the Vikings 3-1.

Valhalla’s Lauren Kreder, left, tries to keep the ball from Bronxville’s Hadley Barr during their game at Bronxville High School on Friday. The Broncos defeated the Vikings 3-1.

“The one thing they had over us was their passing,” said Vikings goalie Breanna Ciardullo, who had seven saves, several on hard shots through traffic.

Valhalla (9-3-2) played a superb first half, scoring within a minute of Bronxville’s initial score to go into halftime tied at 1-1.

Vikings Brenna Dockett and Angela Vlad had multiple big defensive stops.

But Valhalla couldn’t generate offense in the second half and the Broncos’ offensive pressure was almost relentless, led by Ellie Walsh, whose name didn’t show up on the score sheet but who was dominant.  Walsh had multiple shots on and around the net, some cross-field attempts that narrowly missed connecting with teammates on the back door.

She also had multiple steals, but it was a steal by Mia Bettino that led to the game-winning goal, which Bettino scored with 12:34 left.

Bronxville celebrates a goal during its 3-1 victory over Valhalla at Bronxville High School on Friday.

Bronxville celebrates a goal during its 3-1 victory over Valhalla at Bronxville High School on Friday.

Bronxville iced things with 5:17 to play when Andrea Shephard scored off a penalty corner on assists from Ava Austi and Kat Ungvary.

Player of the game: Bettino was the game’s star with the game-winning goal and an assist.

Turning point: Bettino’s goal, breaking the 1-1 tie, came on second effort. She intercepted the ball and dodged a defender. Cirardullo stopped her shot, trapping the ball between her feet. But the ball squirted out and Bettino found it amid multiple feet and scored just inside the left post.

Another key play occurred off Valhalla’s lone corner, which came with 26:41 left in the first half. The Vikings appeared to score but one referee overturned the goal, saying while a Bronxville player had deflected the ball in, no Valhalla player had touched it within the circle.

Stat line: They game’s key stat was penalty corners. Bronxville had nine to Valhalla’s one and scored its first goal with 14:46 left in the first half off a corner. Hadley Barr had the goal off Bettino’s assist.

But just 50 seconds later, Maria Pezzolanti scored to even things.

Quotables: Bettino, who liked her team’s passing, said it did a much better job of going for 50-50 loose balls in the second half, terming that “really the game-changer.”

Ciardullo was happy with her team’s effort, saying, “It was an amazing game – one of our best.”

“This team wants to learn and wants to grow. It has shown me nothing but that all season,” Valhalla coach Jenna Wenk said.

Twitter: @HaggertyNancy