SUFFERN, N.Y. — The speed at which the wind was blowing on one of the coldest afternoons in March was no match for the speed of Suffern’s dynamic duo of senior Lely Desimone and freshman Bailey Parrott. Desimone and Parrott raced up and down the field to the tune of six combined goals and three assists in a tight 9-8 victory for Suffern (1-1) over county-rival Pearl River (0-1).
“I think our speed definitely gave us the edge,” Parrot, who scored two goals and added two assists, said. “When we’re running and gunning down the field it opens things up for us offensively and gives us great chances to score.”
DeSimone finished with four goals including the game-winner with 3:13 remaining in the game. Despite the tendency to run, it was actually a ball control offense late in the game that won it for the Mounties. After Pearl River tied the game with seven minutes left, Suffern controlled the clock and only looked for good shots. DeSimone found hers on an isolation play.
“We definitely ran our isolation very well today I think. I just read the defenders and tried to fake out the goalie,” Desimone said. “We definitely need to finish at the net a lot better though going forward.”
Suffern’s nine goals came on more than 30 shots, a scoring percentage that the Mounties would like to see much higher.
“We haven’t practiced our shooting much lately,” Desimone said. “It’s just a matter of getting our reps in, we’ll be fine.”
Pearl River — which won last year's Section 1 Class C title — looked out of the game midway through the first half as Suffern built a 5-2 lead and dominated possession, but the Pirates battled back behind Notre Dame-bound Kiera McMullan’s two goals and two assists, and Maggie Davin’s three-goal hat trick.
Pearl River finished with four of the final five goals in the half to tie the game at halftime, 6-6. The Pirates opened the second half with another score to take their first lead since the opening minute of the game.
“There’s going to be growing pains when you play so many freshmen, especially against a strong program like Pearl River,” Suffern coach John Callanan said. “Their goalie played a big part in slowing us down though, she was great.”
Pearl River goalie, Delia White, made 12 saves including a few jaw-dropping stops. Her presence also forced many Suffern shots wide of the net.
Suffern featured seven starting freshmen during its victory including Parrott, Caitlyn Leary (two goals), and Tonianne Magnelli (one goal). Senior goalie Elixyvette Garcia stopped seven shots.
Pearl River’s Allison Cook scored two goals, and Kaity Creagh added a solo score.
Suffern, the Section 1 Class A finalist a season ago, continues its quest to get back to the title game despite starting seven freshmen.
“We’re young, but very talented. This group is athletic and fun to coach,” Callanan said. “We expect to have a drastic learning curve and do things with these guys that we haven’t been able to do in the past. It’s a lot of fun.”
Follow John Malone on Twitter @MSGV_JMalone