CHAPPAQUA – All season long, Mahopac has found a way to stay in step with the best teams in Section 1 and steal a few memorable wins.
Add one more to the list.
The Indians grabbed an early lead at Horace Greeley, survived a frantic comeback, regrouped in overtime and eventually took down the No. 1 seed in penalty kicks, posting a 3-2 victory Tuesday in a Section 1 Class AA quarterfinal.
Perhaps the underdog label no longer applies.
“It seems like we always go into overtime,” Mahopac midfielder Katie Yurish said. “We’ve done it time after time, but we really believe that we can go the distance with any team. We can beat any team.”
Ailis Martin and Morgan Kirby made the Indians’ first two PKs. Each one was answered, though. Quakers keeper Ashley Morgan came up with a diving stop on the next kick, but the next Greeley kick went wide left. Yurish made her penalty kick to keep the pressure on and the Quakers’ following attempt hit the crossbar.
Mahopac celebrated, but realized the game wasn’t over.
Sam Colatruglio took a deep breath after order was restored and put the exclamation point on another upset.
“Oh, my God,” the sophomore midfielder said. “That was crazy. I’ve never done anything like this before. That was insane. I was like, ‘I need to make this shot.’ I was like, ‘Sam, just breathe. You can do this.’ “
The ninth-seeded Indians visit Suffern on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the championship game. Mahopac won an Oct. 15 meeting between the two by a 2-0 score. Of course, that game was decided in overtime.
“It’s just the character of the girls,” Indians coach Ross Fumusa said. “They don’t accept losing. They feel that no matter who we play, they’re going to win. Greeley is the best team we’ve played all season. That is some team we just beat and I’m really proud of the girls.”
Player of the game: Netting the first goal of the game was critical for Mahopac, which struggled to possess until Yurish got behind the defense, took a perfect setup from Carly Steinberg and scored with 23 minutes to go in the first half.
Turning point: After letting a 2-0 lead slip away in the second half, the Indians got more aggressive, more physical and wrestling momentum back in the overtimes.
Stat line: Morgan Kirby got loose behind the defense, isolated on the goalie and scored in the last four minutes of the first half to give Mahopac a 2-0 lead. … Stella Schwartz got the Quakers on the board give minutes into the second half, and Olivia Bonadies knotted the score on a blast from the right side of the box with 15 minutes to go in regulation.
Quotable: “We never give up, no matter how big the challenge is, we never give up,” Yurish said. “Honestly, I knew we were coming out with a win. Greeley was the No. 1 seed, but don’t sleep on us.”