A rematch of the 2011 Nassau County Class AA girls soccer championship between MacArthur and Calhoun was everything it was expected to be.
It was full of scoring chances, speedy transitions and excellent goaltending. However there was just one thing missing…
Both MacArthur goaltender Jena Cozza and Calhoun keeper Alissa Battaglia both posted goose-eggs on the board as the Lady Generals and Colts played to a 0-0 scoreless tie Monday afternoon.
“Last year we knocked them out of the playoffs so I think it was kind of a revenge thing for them,” Cozza, who had five saves said on the game. “I think both teams played incredibly hard and we knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle coming in.”
MacArthur dominated ball possession for the first twenty minutes of the game, but the scoring chances started coming in on the other side in the remaining twenty for the first half as Calhoun began to put pressure on Cozza.
The Colts’ best opportunity came with five minutes left in the first half as Jessica Foley found herself with a loose ball-breakaway. Staring one-on-one with Cozza, Foley fired the shot wide to the left post keeping the game scoreless.
“There was a weird bounce on it,” Foley said of her scoring chance. “I should’ve gotten over it and got the goal for my team there.”
Despite the draw Cozza was proud of how strong the team in front of her held in there.
“I know we didn’t finish offensively but we were very tough,” Cozza said. “The defense always plays amazing – Jenny (Scro), Sam (DiClemente) and Courtney (Noakes) do so well back there. Having them in front of me really helps in the shutout.”
In the second half it was Battaglia’s time to shine when the ball was bouncing MacArthur’s way.
Halfway through the second frame with the Lady Generals deep in the Calhoun zone, Kristyn Alonzo sent a cross pass toward the way of Kelly McQuail. The senior one-timed the pass off the crossbar. Then four minutes later on a free kick from 35 yards out, Scro sent the attempt through a screen, which deflected off an unsuspecting Battaglia’s shin and off the right post.
The "fun" didn’t stop there.
With nine minutes remaining in the game, Arianna Montefusco headed a throw-in towards Battaglia’s way. The header looked to catch the Calhoun netminder off-guard who had to leap and punch it over the net. Only thing was her punch deflected the ball off the crossbar. Luckily for the Colts the deflection sailed over the net and out of bounds.
“I got a little nervous because I heard it went off the crossbar so I bounced right back up,” Battaglia said of the close call. “Thankfully it was out of play.”
Both teams will now have to wait until October 15 to meet again and settle the score. MacArthur, the defending state champs, were happy to get out of Calhoun with a draw.
But Battaglia and Calhoun?
“I want to win.”
See you October 15.