The Commack girls soccer team is moving on to the county semi-finals as the Cougars upset top seeded West Islip 2-1 in overtime Friday afternoon at West Islip High School.
Up next for Commack is No. 4 Ward Melville on Saturday.
The loss for top seed West Islip was only the second of the season, with both coming at the feet of the Cougars, the number eight seed. The teams met on Sept. 10 at West Islip with Commack winning 2-0 in a non-league contest.
“I feel the non-league game we played (against West Islip) made our girls feel like we had a chance,” said Tracie Morenberg, Commack’s head coach. “(West Islip) is a great team and the most physical team we have played. I am really proud of my crew.”
The playoff matchup was the first game for West Islip since its regular season finale, a 2-1 overtime win over Smithtown West, on Oct. 23. Commack returned to the pitch following its playoff opening 1-0 win over Deer Park on Oct. 27.
The game Friday started with West Islip maintaining much of the pressure but failing to find the back of Commack’s net. The Cougars would take an early 1-0 lead following a free kick deep in West Islip’s zone when Erica Pacello would tap in a loose ball.
West Islip tied the game at 1 early in the second half as Brenda DiDonna chipped a shot over Commack goalie Samantha Miller, who had a strong game in net with 23 saves.
The game remained tied during the first 10 minute overtime period, but Commack would break through with five minutes remaining in the second 10-minute OT period. Pacello's header off of a throw-in found the back of the net for what would prove to be the game winner.
With Commack having to play back-to-back games, and possibly a third consecutive game Sunday if they defeat Ward Melville and earn a trip to the county finals, Morenberg said she is coaching for the moment.
“I'll handle things based upon the feel of the game and speed of play,” she said. “We also have a deep bench and have 22 players that can be on the field at anytime. I’m thankful to have that.”1 2 OT
F(8) Commack 1 0 1
0(1) West Islip 0 1 0 1
Commack: Erica Pacello, 2 goals; Julia Montella, 1 assist; Erin Neville, 1 assist
West Islip: Brenda DiDonna, 1 goals; Vanessa Costantino, 1 assists
Commack: Samantha Miller, 23 saves
West Islip: Megan Deak, 6 saves; Shannon Cronin, 6 saves