Molloy Women’s Soccer Late Goal Winner
Morgan Camarda sends Molloy to the finals against Mercy on Saturday. Sarah Tappeto continues her success on the biggest stages and helped her team secure the win with her penalty kick to give Molloy the early lead.
By J.J. Pavlick
“Joanna gave me a great ball and I've been working on shots and evading the 'keeper while keeping the ball on target. I really just turned and saw the open net and well I just Ripped It!!” - Morgan Camarda
The first half saw both teams going back and forth with each other, neither team is giving up much on the pitch. The best chance of the first half came in the 2’ when Sr. Lexi Verni made a great run down the right side of the pitch, she cut it into the box toward the goal and let off a rocket from point-blank range, it took a great save by Robert Wesleyan ‘keeper Nicolette Knauf to keep the game scoreless. A minute later Molloy earned a corner kick, taken by Jr. Sarah Tappeto, her cross found Lexi who sent her shot toward the near post but again goalkeeper Knauf was up to the challenge and made the save. A few minutes later Gr. Morgan Camarda found an opening from about 20 yards from the goal. She sent a laser on the goal, but Knauf made the save again to keep the score even. In the 7’ Roberts Wesleyan gets its first shot on goal by Kara Choate who sent a floater in on goal, Jr. goalkeeper Shannon Kilian saved it. In the 21’ RWU’s Erin Faso fires a hard shot to the lower far post, ‘keeper Kilian makes a diving save and holds on to it for the save. A minute later Justine Sharda finds an opening inside the box and crushes a shot on the goal, but Kilian was up to the challenge and makes the save. In the 24’ Gabrielle Ciambella finds a bouncing ball 25-yards out and fires it high for RWU. A few minutes later RWU’s Larissa Johnston fires a low-driven ball to the near post saved by Kilian and the score remains 0-0 28’ into the match. In the 29’ Johnston finds a gap between the defense and sends a shot screaming to the far post, but Kilian is up to the task and makes the save. Just under a minute later Tappeto earns a corner kick for Molloy, she takes the corner and sends a well-placed ball into the box, Jr. Erin Fogarty gets a head onto the cross and directs it toward the near post, but Knauf makes the save and keeps us tied at 0. The play settles down some and sees both teams battling in the midfield to find a breakdown in the defense of the other. In the 36’ RWU earns a corner kick to the right of the goal, Sharda takes the corner, but it sails out of play for a goal kick. A few minutes later RWU earned another corner kick opportunity, Sharda takes this corner this time from the left side of the goal, she sends the ball deep into the box where Kara Choate can place a header toward the far post, but Kilian stands tall and makes the save. In the 42’ Molloy Sr. Joanna Graca sends a missile just wide of the far goalpost. A few minutes later Lexi Verni finds space and blasts a shot toward the near post, saved by Knauf. In the 44’ Camarda finds the ball 20-yards from the goal and sends a hard low shot toward the far post, it takes a great save by Knauf to keep us scoreless with seconds left to the 1st half. The horn sounded to end the 1st half, RWU had 8 shots/6 on goal, and Molloy had 7 shots/6 on goal. Corner kicks were tied 2 apiece.
The first half was an action-packed chess match as expected between these two teams. It should be an exciting 2nd half here at John A. Darcy Field (RVC Sports Complex) in Rockville Centre, NY. During halftime, I spotted Angel City FC midfielder Hope Breslin in the crowd. The rookie midfielder’s hometown is Massapequa, NY. She is cheering on her friend Morgan Camarda who is also from Massapequa. Hope played in 13 games this season for Angel City of the NWSL; she was the team’s first-ever College Draft pick out of the University of Illinois. She tallied 18 goals and 9 assists in her 4 years at Illinois with 5 game-winning goals.
The second half is underway, and Molloy does not waste much time going at RWU’s defense. In the 51’ Lexi Verni fired a rocket just wide of the goal, it did not miss by much and had the goalkeeper beat if it stayed on the frame. Just over three minutes later Verni fires off another shot and this time hits the post and the ball sails out of danger for RWU. Molloy is called for a foul on the play after the shot. In the 56’ Cassidy Pearce of RWU takes a shot from distance and it sails high over the goal and out for a goal kick. Things start to settle down for a few minutes before Lexi finds space between the center backs and rifles a shot on the goal sending Knauf diving to her right to make the save. She gives up a rebound and the defender plays it out over the goal line for a corner kick. Tappeto takes the corner for Molloy, but it is played out of danger by RWU. In the 63’ of action, Tappeto splits the defense with some fancy footwork, and she is taken down inside the box. The center blows the whistle and points to the spot, Tappeto wastes no time getting the ball and is ready to take the penalty kick. The referee blows the whistle and Tappeto fires a rocket into the lower corner with purpose. Molloy takes a 1-0 lead with just over 27 minutes left to play. RWU takes the kickoff which is intercepted by Tappeto who finds Camarda making a run at the goal, She fires off a shot just barely over the crossbar from 40 yards out. A few minutes later sr. Sienna Nicolich takes the throw-in in front of her team’s bench, the throw lands in the box and takes a few bounces off defenders, Jr. Joanna Mauceri gets a touch and sends it towards Morgan, Morgan finds it 16-yards from the goal and blasts it just under the crossbar into the middle of the goal to give Molloy a demanding 2-0 lead with 23:17 left to the match. She sends her teammates and the fans into a frenzy after the goal. In the 76’ RWU earns a corner kick which is taken by Erin Faso, the cross finds Gabrielle Ciambella, but the shot is blocked, she attempts another shot and this one went well wide of the goal. A few minutes later Justine Sharda of RWU finds space and has a go at the goal but is taken down inside the box, the center referee blows the whistle and points to the spot. Sharda takes the ball in the 79’ and places it for the penalty kick, she shoots and drives a ball into the lower right corner of the goal to make the game 2-1. In the 83’ Tappeto sends a blistering shot toward the goal, and it hits the near post and goes out for a goal kick. The Molloy backline holds strong and preserves the 2-1 lead and the Molloy Lions are headed to the Finals to face Mercy College on Saturday, November 5th at 1 PM. The finals will take place at Mercy College, Camarda is credited with the game-winning goal which is her first game-winner in her college career. The Lions improve to 12-4-2 on the season while the Red Hawks season ends with a record of 11-4-1.
Post-Game Interview with Sarah Tappeto
Q: To end the season you set the career assist record for the school, what did that mean to you personally?
A: It meant a lot, for the past 3 years I've been to 3 ECC Championships, and 2 runs at the NCAA. But honestly this year it wasn't just me it was all my teammates; I was putting in dangerous balls all year and they would sacrifice to put their bodies on the line. So, it wasn't just me Eleni, Lindsey, and Natalia, they put their bodies on the line for me to get that record.
Q: When did you realize you had set the record?
A: I found out at the end of the game when they made the announcement, it was a surreal moment for me, I'm glad my family and friends were in attendance for the moment.
Q: Tonight, you earned a crucial penalty kick in the 2nd half, at the time the game was tied 0-0, what was going through your mind at the moment when you stepped up to take the kick?
A: You just have to be confident with them, we've been practicing them cause no sudden death anymore. I haven't really been a pk taker for the team, but if I can go up there anyone can go up there.
Post-Game Interview with Morgan Camarda
Q: Morgan can you walk us through the game-winning goal, what did you see out on the pitch?
A: Joanna gave me a great ball and I've been working on shots and evading the 'keeper while keeping the ball on target. I really just turned and saw the open net and well I just Ripped It!!