Cardinal Spellman knocks off St. John's
Chemistry isn’t a subject most high school students embrace, but on-field chemistry is something integral among forwards.
It’s something that Danae Dookhie and Nasya Sandy of Cardinal Spellman have developed in a very short amount of time.
“It’s not easy to find that really quickly, but I like that,” Sandy said.
The partnership paid dividends in a big way Wednesday afternoon, as Sandy set up Dookhie for the game’s lone goal as the Pilots defeated St. John’s Prep, 1-0, in a CHSAA Class A girls soccer crossover game in The Bronx Wednesday afternoon.
“We just formed it, it just came,” Dookhie said of the chemistry with Sandy. “We just have this bond.”
It’s been an early season of transition for Cardinal Spellman (3-0-0), especially Sandy. She has moved from her natural center midfield position to forward, filling the void left by Taylor Addison, who had 107 goals and 52 assists in her four years as a varsity player and is now at Delaware State University.
“I’ve known Taylor since we were little,” Sandy said. “We were childhood friends and it was exciting to play with her. We all really miss her, but it’s really good to know we can keep up the reputation for Spellman.”
The Pilots attacked from the outset and put Ashley Rivera under pressure from the opening kickoff. In the eighth minute, Dookhie ran in alone on goal, but Rivera made the diving stop.
Sandy also had an early chance, but Rivera again came up big, making one of her 15 saves on the day.
“They do create opportunities for each other and we have a midfield that comes up to support them as well,” Spellman coach Melville Brown said. “I know going forward that we’re going to explosive this season.”
Finally, Spellman would not be denied in the 36th minute as Celine Herrera won the ball in midfield and lobbed it ahead to Sandy. The senior had space, but she also picked out Dookhie ahead of her.
“I saw that she had a better opportunity to take it,” Sandy said.
Dookhie did the rest, taking a touch before pushing the ball to Rivera’s right from 12 yards out for her fifth goal of the year.
“I didn’t really think about the goal at all,” Dookhie said. “I was just waiting for her to give me the pass. If she wanted to take it, I was just ready and prepared.”
The goal proved to be the game-winner and a huge relief for the Pilots, which peppered Rivera throughout.
“We were ecstatic,” Dookhie said. “We wished we could do it again, but one was good enough.”
While Rivera was under pressure for much of the match, Teresa Tartarone didn’t have to make one save to register the clean sheet, the third of the year for Spellman, which has outscored the opposition, 16-0, this season.
“I’m very pleased with the defense,” said Brown, who also was happy with his team’s communication and movement off the ball. “We have at least two different lines of defense that we can put on the field. Those girls played very well together.”
The same is true of the Pilots dynamic duo up front.
“It’s really the first time we’ve been playing forward, it’s not really my position,” Sandy said. “But it just worked out because we’re really good friends on and off the field.”