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Mineola’s Tireless Efforts Fall Short In Pennsylvania

The GU14 Mineola Mini-Mustangs fell short in defense of its 2011 title at the Fall Festival in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  Mineola got off to a good start, winning its first game 2-1 over Keystone, PA.

Brianna O’Brien started the scoring; skimming a hard shot from outside the penalty area into the back of the net during the first half. Allison Lamonica finished a tremendous individual effort to lift her team to a 2-goal cushion.

Gretchen Keller, solid in goal all weekend for Mineola, made key saves to help her team hold the lead. Meghan Lafaye and Valerie Cobos’ solid defensive play helped their team earn the win.

Mineola’s tired legs in their second game cost them early, as they surrendered two early goals to a strong Lower Macugnie, PA team. Mineola’s midfielders, led by the gritty Alana Conroy and the skillful Emma Feimer, began controlling the game as the second half began.

The Mini’s got their legs and closed to within one when Natalia Terezakis slid a shot past a diving goalkeeper after a perfect throw-in from Jillian Palma. With forwards Natalia Cotto and Katie Russelman leading late-game threats, Mineola thought they tied the score as the final whistle blew, but an apparent goal was waved off.

Mineola’s third game against Keystone saw the opponent’s terrific striker launch two shots from 30 yards that struck the corner of the net early in the first half.  With their backs to the wall, Mineola’s effort never ceased.

Christen Patalano got Mineola on the board early in the second half and soon after the Mini’s hard work earned them a penalty kick. Annie Cripps’ rocket of a shot dinged off the crossbar and the talented Keystone keeper grabbed the rebound.

Earlier, the same keeper had saved a penalty kick off the foot of Lamonica, with a diving save. Mineola consistently threatened for the rest of the game, but could not score.

Mineola needed to win their final game against Lower Macugnie to bring home a trophy.  Mineola again conceded an early goal and soon after it looked as if they would be down another goal, but midfielder Antonia Ciuffo hustled to block a shot from five feet that was destined for the back of Mineola’s net.

Mineola’s defensive crew, led by the feisty pair of Brianna Lopes and Michelle Viola, continuously turned aside attacks as the game wore on.  With Cotto, Lamonica, Patalano, O’Brien and Feimer constantly driving their team up-field, Mineola seemed certain to tie the score, but Lower Macugnie’s defense was up to the challenge, holding on for their 1-0 win and eventual tournament championship.