In the last two years, John Jay has fought out victories over Somers in the Section finals and the history had the Wolves honed in on Wednesday, May 3 at Contest Field. “A big game,” said Annabel Brennan, “we definitely wanted to show up.” Somers did strut in first, though. But the early 2-0 Tusker lead wasn’t as important who was the last to leave.
John Jay scored the next five goals and held the door open as Somers exited with a 13-9 defeat.
The day starting with Teagan Ryan, she scored both goals, and barely two minutes had come off the clock. Somers wasn’t done with the early dominance either.
Jocelyn Klein received a pass right into front, and Molly Gallagher was left to stand tall. Nonetheless, she refused to shrink, reached up and turned the tables.
Jordan Kauftheil got the ball up field, and the Wolves got down to business. Of course, there was no rush - until there was. Mia Puccio suddenly broke from inside a herd of Elephants, and like she was big game hunting, Amelia Ingles pulled the trigger on her teammate’s stride.
Puccio went low at 20:15, and no stopping the pack, the 2-1 game was soon tied. Nothing fancy this time, Brennan got whacked trying to scoop a loose ball, and she made easy work on the penalty shot at 16:10.
Kauftheil did the same when she picked off a Somers centering pass into the crease, and the Tuskers began to enter the rearview. Nicole DiNapoli would do the honors at 13:11.
She broke from the morass, and even though Inglis was on the mark, DiNapoli’s 4’10” standing can make the attacker’s moves hard to spot from the stands. “Where’s she go,” she conveyed the sentiment.
An obvious disadvantage, the junior has simply made the necessary adjustments. “All my coaches have worked with me to figure out my own game and my own strengths,” said DiNapoli.
No fluke either, she was back 40 seconds later. Only this time, JoJo Degl dumped a pass in, and DiNapoli went overhand for a 4-2 game.
One more goal to come in the run, JoJo Degl’s draw brought out a familiar face that John Jay is going to miss. Puccio snatched the ball from the air, and the middie’s look typically rejoiced all the room to run. “She gets a glow in her eyes,” beamed Brennan.
Puccio got the ball ahead and was rewarded. Around the perimeter, Shannon Nolan wasn’t above getting a little underhanded to gain the advantage. Slyly hovering around the goal line, she dropped her stick, flipped the ball up and Puccio gladly participated in the deceit. She received and easily found the goal at 11:45.
Now, Somers was ready to answer back. Ryan Teagan scored on an assist from Mia Parisi at 7:10 and then the Tuskers went on the fast break after a John Jay turnover. The ball getting ahead to Mia Paulmeno, she found some space and hit Lauren McCartin on the run. A perfect lead, the tall Tusker made due and closed the score to 5-4.
That left it to the Wolves to turn defense into offense. This time Puccio thwarted the pass in front, and Degl cruised the wind in her sails. All the way upfield, she ran into an angry herd and drew the penalty. No problem, the sophomore made it a 6-4 game at 3:27, and that closed the scoring for the half.
Undeterred, the Tuskers came out with their ivory sharpened. They forced a turnover at midfield, and Molly Fink’s swing from the left beat Gallagher at 24:26.
A big mistake, it turned out. The Wolves scored five straight, and the run began when Brennan was the one with the glint on Degl’s draw. The senior secured the ball, John Jay set up and she eventually took it upon herself to send Somers the message. Brennan willed her way through the defense and unleashed for a 7-5 lead
Still, the attacker made sure to point out her resolve never goes unassisted - especially with Puccio’s boundless energy. “I’ll hear her behind me, ‘let’s go, let’s go, and then I’m like yeah, yeah” the senior conveyed.
In keeping, Brennen had the next three goals, Puccio assisted twice, and to complete the run, DiNapoli really did disappear. Completely surrounded in the land of the giants, the attacker received from Inglis and helping her tally goal three was old hat for the freshman. “I’m used to seeing where she is,” assured the playmaker.
Somers did get the next two goals. But Inglis assisted again, and the Degl goal mostly sealed the deal for another victory over the crosstown rival.
Click link for Sectional Photos vs John Jay. Photos from Regular season game are below the link