Losing seven seniors after an undefeated league championship the previous season tends to lessen expectations at most up-and-coming programs.
Nyack (2-0) is no longer up-and-coming.
The Indians continued their unbeaten streak in the league dating back to last year with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Pearl River (0-2). With just under ten minutes left in the game, senior Taylor Bertolacci scored the game-winner after a scrum in front of the net.
“We had a timeout just before the goal and we talked about communication,” Bertolacci said. “We talked about keep our sticks down and staying low, and that’s what happened.”
Bertolacci’s goal came off the stick of sophomore Erika Viviano, but multiple players kept the play alive including Taylor O’Sullivan and Amanda Cano.
“Amanda Cano does a great job of moving to a position that allows her to get rebounds and put the ball back in front of the net,” Nyack coach Cheryl Eglin said. “She did that several times to keep that play alive for us.”
Pearl River fought hard on the defensive end to keep the game scoreless, but couldn’t hold off the determined Indians. Annie McBride, just a sophomore, turned away nine shots for the Pirates.
“Pearl River is really young and they have some talent,” Eglin said. “They packed it in on defense and made it hard to find good shots.”
The Pirates had a handful of chances to take the lead early in the game and finished strong in the last two minutes, but Nyack’s defense led by Moira Ungeleider held Pearl River off. Junior goalie Alexis Kydon made four saves.
“Alexis did a great job with her fundamentals,” Eglin said. “The defense stepped up especially Moira.”
Despite its youth and inexperience, Nyack is looking to win its second consecutive league championship.
“We want to come back and win that league title again,” Bertolacci said. “We want to be back-to-back undefeated champs.”