After two losses and a tie in its first three games, Oceanside got in the win column for the first time in 2012 with a 1-0 victory over Conference AA-I girls’ soccer rival Kennedy on Sept. 19.
Senior Dana Sevcik, who switched from an outside midfield spot to the center, cashed in a rebound at the 32:46 mark of the first half for the game’s only goal. Junior Marissa Colascco’s direct kick was stopped by Kennedy keeper Nicole Liotta, but the ball ricocheted off her hands and was blasted into the left corner of the net.
“Hopefully the momentum switched for the whole year,” Lady Sailors coach Marianna Winchester said. “We battled hard the first three games but came up short. I told the girls to approach this game as if we were down a goal or two. I wanted them to be more aggressive.”
Senior goalkeeper Emily Doherty made seven saves for Oceanside (1-2-1), which came off a 4-1 defeat to Calhoun five days earlier. “Calhoun’s a strong and physical team,” Winchester said. “They push opponents off the ball. Next time we play them, we have to play the whole game the way we played in the second half.”
Winchester is counting on a mix of senior leadership and talented youngsters to lead the Lady Sailors to a successful season. Doherty, who has Temple on her collegiate radar, is a captain along with senior central defenders Kelly Backus and Sam Longo. Doherty had 16 saves in a 1-1 tie with Farmingdale in the opener. “Emily’s an outstanding goalie in every sense,” Winchester said. “She’s got great ability and is very vocal. It all starts with her.”
Backus, who started at fullback last season and earned All-County honors, and Longo, who distributes the ball well to the midfielders, control the tempo in the back. Backus is expected to miss a handful of games in early October but should return for the stretch run. Longo scored in the Farmingdale game. “We’ll be losing a main plug when Kelly’s out, but everyone else just has to step up,” said Winchester, who asks senior Meghan Wallace, junior Kristen Paczkowski and sophomore Angelica Cafiero to do most of the work at fullback.
Colascco is a defensive presence in the midfield, yet she’s also contributed offensively with a goal in the Calhoun game. Senior Katie Ryan, a track and field standout, can run all day and brings exceptional speed to the midfield, which also features senior Laura Dwyer, a steady contributor, and Gabriella Mihale, one of three freshmen on the roster.
Logging minutes up front are freshmen Julia Duffy and Jules Sicker, and senior Rachel Blackley. Duffy scored twice and clanged a shot off the crossbar in a 3-2 defeat to Mepham. “They work off each other,” Winchester said. “Julia and Jules aren’t intimidated and have bright futures, and Rachel’s given us a lot of feistiness.”
Oceanside concludes the first half of the schedule with a trip to Burns Park in Massapequa this Friday to take on the Lady Chiefs at 8 p.m.