Expectations remain high for the Lynbrook Lady Owls on the soccer pitch this season. After a third-place finish and a berth in the playoffs in 2011, the bar was raised a bit by head coach Jen Dankenbrink.
While the Lady Owls have had some down moments, they stand alone atop Conference A-III after a 5-1 victory over Glen Cove. Sophomore Patricia Loonie scored a pair of goals and added an assist as Lynbrook improved to 5-2. Loonie leads the team in scoring with seven goals and two assists. Freshman Sydney Amato had a goal and a helper.
Dankenbrink likes what she’s seen thus far, but knows that her team can’t afford to let up. “The girls are playing well, but the intensity has to be there every time we take the field,” Dankenbrink said. “We had a couple of games where we came out thinking that we couldn’t lose. We took the games too lightly and got beat. If we’re going to be successful, everyone has to be on their game.”
The games Dankenbrink alluded to were losses to Floral Park and Roslyn. The Lady Owls came out flat and fell to Floral Park, 3-1. Against Roslyn, Lynbrook held a one-goal lead for most of the game, only to have the Lady Bulldogs score a pair of late goals for a 2-1 victory. Keeper Michelle Cantanno, who had consecutive shutouts in wins over Glen Cove and West Hempstead, had eight saves in the loss.
Sandwiched between the two losses was a 3-0 win over cross-town rival Hewlett. Cantanno had eight saves to earn the shutout. Loonie scored twice and sophomore Julia Heaney scored her first goal of the season. Amato and senior captain Katie Loonie were credited with assists.
The Lady Owls got off to a great start in league play with a 2-0 win over Roslyn in the opener. Freshman keeper Kacie Curren has 13 saves to notch her first career varsity win. Patricia Loonie scored a goal and set up Amato for her first varsity tally.
In a 1-0 victory over Glen Cove, junior Meghan Montine set up Patricia Loonie for the game’s only goal midway through the first half, and Cantanno turned aside a season-high 14 shots. Senior midfielder Chani Sebazco and junior sweeper Aine Mooney drew high praise from their coach for their efforts.
The Lady Owls continued their winning ways when they knocked off West Hempstead, also by a score of 1-0. This time it was Montine finding the back of the net off a pass from Katie Loonie late in the second half.
Dankenbrink is optimistic good news can continue. “We need to get a little better on defense, and continue to move the ball around on the offensive end,” she said. “If we play our game, and keep up the intensity for the entire game, we’ll be tough to beat.”
The Lady Owls will host East Rockaway/Malverne this Saturday at South Middle School at 6:30 p.m.