Friday, 29 March 2013 00:00
The GU14 Mineola Mustangs used a dramatic, final-minute goal from Natalia Cotto to advance to the second round of the Long Island Cup Youth Soccer tournament on March 16. Playing in a blinding snow shower, Mineola earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over a solid West Islip Sizzle team.
West Islip grabbed a 1-0 lead minutes into the game, scoring off a long run and perfect shot by their right side striker. Mineola rallied to take a 2-1 lead at halftime with Allison Lamonica scoring both goals, including one off a perfect lead pass from midfielder Brianna O’Brien.
Mineola kept possession for much of the second half but could not score. Annie Cripps, Valie Cobos, Meghan Lafaye, Natalia Terezakis and Christen Patalano starred on defense for Mineola in front of solid goalkeeping by Shannon Durham. With less than five minutes to go, West Islip scored the tying goal, setting the stage for Cotto’s heroics, which came with seconds remaining in regulation time.
The play began deep in the Mineola defensive end where a perfect clearing pass landed on the foot of Lamonica on the right side at midfield. A nifty give-and-go with O’Brien set Lamonica flying down the right sideline. Moments later, a perfect cross found it’s way to the right foot of Cotto, who expertly deposited the ball in the corner of the Sizzle goal.