OSSINING – Since head coach Francesco Notaristefano took over New Rochelle three years ago, one of the big goals the team had was to get a win in sectionals.
On Saturday, the Lady Huguenots accomplished just that, defeating seventh-seeded Ossining 2-0 in a Class AA first-round game at Ossining High School.
For a program with little history in terms of winning, the feeling after was pure joy, a very emotion from a year ago.
“Last year at this time, we were crying because we were out,” New Rochelle’s Sabrina Salov said. “We deserved the win. It was a long time coming.”
New Rochelle, a team that struggled to finish during the regular season, opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Salov finished off a rebound from a Sydney Jasper shot.
Jasper scored early in the second half to give New Rochelle some extra cushion, and the New Rochelle defense, led by freshman sweeper Michaela Canapa, prevented Ossining, who got only limited minutes from leading goal-scorer Jhada Francis, from creating any solid chances the rest of the way.
“I think our nerves kind of got us at the beginning of the game, and we didn’t get enough shots on their goalie,” Ossining head coach Stephanie Leveille said. “Give it to New Rochelle. They definitely wanted this game, they were hungry and played with a lot of passion.”
New Rochelle will take on second-seeded Scarsdale, who squeaked by Carmel 1-0 in overtime in its first round game, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. New Rochelle was ousted in sectionals by the Raiders last season.
“We’re looking for revenge,” Jasper said.
Player of the game: Sydney Jasper, New Rochelle. The junior, who started the year as a sweeper, played a part in both of New Rochelle’s goals. In the second half, she caught the Ossining defensive line too far up and finished a breakaway to give New Rochelle an important insurance goal.
Turning point: In the 45th minute, Ossining had a great chance in front of the New Rochelle net, but were unable to get a clean shot off. New Rochelle cleared the ball, and Sophie Wolf found a streaking Jasper to double the lead and put a damper on Ossining’s momentum.
Stat line: For New Rochelle, Sydney Jasper had a goal and an assist, Sabrina Salov had a goal, Sophie Wolf had an assist and Mary Fay made five saves for the clean sheet. For Ossining, Helen Ishmael made 10 saves.
Quotable: “I love this team, I love coaching this team,” New Rochelle coach Notaristefano said. “We truly believed in ourselves. Every one of these girls put in a hundred and ten percent in pre-season, and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.