RYE BROOK – At the start of Blind Brook’s league match against Sleepy Hollow, Mackenzie Korpi was anxious.
Sitting at 199 career goals, the senior midfielder had missed on her first three scoring chances of the game.
After earning a free position midway through the half, she made no mistake on her fourth try.
“I always get nervous on a free position with the goalie staring you down, but I just went for it,” she said. “It feels really good; I’ve worked for this since eighth grade, so it feels really good to accomplish it.”
Afterward, the goals started to come for Blind Brook’s star player. She kept her team in it after Sleepy Hollow tied the score in the second half, and with 0.8 seconds left, she scored in dramatic fashion to give her team a 7-6 win.
“I wasn’t really looking at the clock,” said Korpi, who finished with five goals. “I just shot it and it went in.”
The game stopped after Korpi’s 200th career goal. She received the game ball, balloons and a promposal, complete with a sign and red roses.
“That was a surprise,” she said. “I was not expecting that at all.”
Earlier in the season against Sleepy Hollow, Korpi scored eight goals. That game, however, came in a 15-13 loss.
“She is one of those players who is very shifty; she’s quick,” Sleepy Hollow head coach Blair Moynahan said. “She’s a smart player and she showed it at the end of the game.”
After the game, Korpi said that she and her younger sister, Brynn, the team’s seventh-grade goalie who got the win, would go out to celebrate, though they weren’t exactly sure where.
“Maybe pizza,” she said.
Player of the game: Mackenzie Korpi, Blind Brook. She came up big when her team needed it the most. She finished the game with five goals.
Turning point: Blind Brook led 4-2 early in the second half, but Sleepy Hollow got back-to-back goals from Dominique Marchini and Marissa Fortugno eight seconds apart to tie the score with 23:16 left.
With the teams tied at 6-6 with 16 seconds left, Sleepy Hollow’s Natalie Smith was called for a dangerous follow-through on a shot attempt and was given a yellow card. After a Blind Brook timeout, Korpi got the ball in the defensive end, ran it all the way down to the Sleepy Hollow net and powered a shot in for the winning goal.
Stat line: Joie Goodman and Eleni Kohilakis rounded out the scoring for Blind Brook, while Brynn Korpi made 11 saves. … For Sleepy Hollow, Sophia Meyer scored twice, Fortugno had a goal and two assists, Taylor Burnett had a goal and an assist, Smith had a goal and Hannah Lustyik made 11 saves.
Quotable: “She’s a phenomenal athlete, but the best part of Mackenzie is that she’s a true scholar-athlete,” Blind Brook head coach Mike Martino said. “She’s a team player. She wanted to make sure that her 200th came when it was supposed to come, not because she was forcing it or just trying to get her goal. She wanted to take care of the team first.”