PURCHASE – Solomon Schechter may have been the higher seed coming into Monday’s game against Keio, but the Lions were determined to be sure complacency wouldn’t get the best of them.
Having to play at sixth-seeded Keio due to its home field being waterlogged, third-seeded Solomon Schechter dominated from kickoff to the final whistle in a 9-2 win.
“We couldn’t underestimate them,” eighth-grader Reese Cohen, who led the way with a hat-trick, said. “We had to go out hard, because we knew they were going to come out hard.”
Solomon Schechter played a fast game, catching the Keio defensive line off-guard and scored primarily on breakaway chances. By the 21st minute, the Lions built a 5-0 lead, and managed to extend it to 8-0 midway through the second half.
Despite the loss, the game was an important one for Keio, which played the game with only one substitute. It was the first time the program competed in a sectional game.
The Unicorns were led by senior Erika Kojima, who assisted on the team’s first goal and scored the second.
“I’m so proud of my team; I couldn’t believe that we made it to sectionals, but it was great to play,” she said. “I think we had the spirit, we pressured and played hard.”
Solomon Schechter will move on to play second-seeded Tuckahoe on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The teams split their two-game series during the regular season.
“We’ve got play strong and we’ve got to be bold,” Solomon Schechter’s Eden Gilbert said. “We’ve got to give it everything we have.”
Player of the game: Reese Cohen, Solomon Schechter. Despite her young age, the Lions’ top goal-scorer did her thing, scoring a team-high three goals. Her speed and off-the-ball play gave the Keio defensive line fits in the first half.
Turning point: In the third minute, Cohen managed to break away from the Keio defense and got a breakaway, despite a Keio defender looming, she calmly chipped a shot past Keio goalkeeper Azusa Koizumi to open the scoring and set the tone of the game.
Stat line: For Solomon Schechter, Cohen had three goals, Marci Brustman and Abby Jaeger had two goals each, Gilbert had a goal and two assists, Melanie Saposh had a goal, Lulu Wein had two assists, Aviva Hurvitz, Lauren Weissman and Lauren Winters all had one assist each and Lily Hochfelder made eight saves. For Keio, Kojima had a goal and an assist, Hana Ogawa had a goal, Marina Sayo had an assist and Koizumi made 12 saves.
Quotable: “We didn’t want to psych ourselves out; we had to come out playing hard,” Gilbert said. “We were really moving the ball well, we were communicating and overall, we were just working together, and that’s what really makes our game great.”