Kober, St. Anthony’s cruise past Sacred Heart
Wednesday afternoon at the Peter C. Collins Soccer Park in Plainview was the setting for a sophomore to shine.
Mackenzie Kober tallied a goal and an assist as she led her St. Anthony’s Friars (11-1-1) to a 3-0 victory over NSCHSAA rival Sacred Heart (4-4-2).
Kober’s goal came in the ninth minute of play while many of the fans were merely settling into their seats. The sophomore from East Northport saw a bouncing ball across the goalmouth just outside the six-yard box and promptly volleyed it home for the first goal of the game.
“I wasn’t really expecting it to come through off [Kaitlin Loughren’s] head, so I was lucky I got there,” said Kober.
Despite the early goal for Kober, St. Anthony’s was unable to extend the lead in the first half.
A multitude of opportunities came knocking for the Friars, but Sacred Heart was able to avoid disaster with solid goalkeeping by Katie Gorman (10 saves). The junior and her defensive unit thwarted some of St. Anthony’s best chances by Sydney Arestivo, returning from a broken toe, who continually put the ball on or close to the net.
The senior nearly made it a 2-0 game in the 34th minute when Maggie Bill delivered a ball to Arestivo, but the one-timer went just wide and the game would remain 1-0 at intermission.
“We already knew we had been winning the field. We should’ve had more goals in the beginning,” said Arestivo. “We just said, ‘We don’t want to keep them in the game. We don’t want them thinking that they have a chance to come back’, we just wanted to finish it as quickly as possible.”
That mentality clearly proved evident in the start of the second half.
Merely five minutes into the period, it was Kober who would come up big. A perfectly placed corner kick off her foot to Chelsea Steigman increased the lead to 2-0.
As Kober would simply put it, “Chelsea was right there, I just looked for her, and she finished.”
Twelve minutes later, St. Anthony’s would cap the scoring with a goal by Tricia Hanley off a Jessica Lukas’ free kick, extending the lead to 3-0.
Danielle Maurice (3 saves) and Kelly DiGregorio (4 saves) held strong in net for the Friars as they collected the shutout.
“I think we are coming together really well,” Arestivo said. “I think we really are coming closer and we are building to hopefully win the championship.”
Follow Bill on Twitter @MSGVBillMueller