CORTLANDT MANOR – The opponent called time out with 2:43 remaining, but the Lakeland/Panas Rebels knew this was about them. They had led by as many as five goals and had been in front since the midway point of the first half. For all of White Plains’ gains in the closing minutes, Lakeland/Panas felt it controlled its fate.
Junior Carlyn Mucci won the ensuing draw, and the seventh-seeded Rebels controlled possession for the final 2:43 of their 14-12 victory over No. 10 White Plains in a Class A first-round game at Panas High School.
Every draw is important, but Mucci found herself especially determined with the game at stake.
“I do tell myself that,” she said. “I have almost an extra jump to try and get it in a situation like that.”
Mucci and senior Katie Bradbury spurred the attack, which enjoyed more success Wednesday than when Lakeland/Panas (12-5) squeaked past White Plains 11-10 last month. Although the final score was close again, the Rebels built an 8-4 lead by halftime and were ahead by as many as six goals in the second half.
“That was a little bit more stressful than I would’ve liked, but I was happy that they battled until the very end,” said first-year coach Rebecca DiSisto, whose team will travel to No. 2 Suffern in Friday’s semifinals. “They kept their intensity level up and didn’t slack off.”
The Tigers rallied late behind midfielders Abby Leone and Kali Peeples and then Maddie Povemba, who scored with 2:43 left to cut their deficit to 14-12. But Lakeland/Panas didn’t allow White Plains to pull any closer after the ensuing draw. The Rebels kept the ball in their end of the field until the clock expired.
Player of the game: Carlyn Mucci, Lakeland/Panas. Mucci had been a central figure on attack all game for the Rebels. She scored a game-high seven goals and had an assist, but she also won several key draws. None of them was bigger than the last, which allowed her team to burn the final 2:43.
Turning point: The teams traded goals early and were tied 3-3 when Bradbury took over and left White Plains’ defenders spinning. She scored four first-half goals as the Rebels built a four-goal cushion that they played with for most of the game. Even when the Tigers surged late, Lakeland/Panas had room to work with because of its early success.
“I did not want this to be my last game,” Bradbury said.
Stat line: Bradbury scored five goals and registered an assist. Kelsey McCrudden had a goal and five assists and Caroline Cahill had a goal and an assist. … Caitlin Jackson made four saves for Lakeland/Panas. … Leone had four goals and Peeples three to lead White Plains. Katie Avezzano and Povemba added two each and Povemba dished a team-high four assists.
Quotable: “I think we got a little bit too comfortable with our lead and they capitalized on our mistakes,” Bradbury said. “Once we realized they were coming back we were like, ‘OK, we have to get this back.’ We kept up the intensity and luckily we pulled out the win.”