John Brandofino had three goals and two assists as he picked up his first win over Somers during his four-year varsity career. (File photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com)
The Mahopac Indians picked up the kind of signature win that they have been eagerly pursuing for more than three seasons tonight with an 11-9 win against defending Class B sectional champion Somers.
This now firmly re-establishes Mahopac as a sectional title contender and throws the “Who’s No. 1?” question in Section 1 in a wide-open discussion right now.
Mahopac played hard and played as a team. The Indians got balanced scoring, with six players getting goals, but their top offensive weapon, John Brandofino, also came up big with three goals and two assists.
The Indians I spoke to after the game told me they viewed this game as one in which they could earn respect throughout the section, and I think they have now. They also were adamant that they are a better team now than when they lost to Mercer Island 7-3 and East Islip 14-13 at the outset of the season.
I thought a key play in the game occurred right after Somers took an 8-7 lead on a goal by Kieran Donohue. The Tuskers were then whistled for a slashing penalty and Chase Thompson scored on the extra-man to tie it at 8-8 with nine minutes left in regulation.
Mahopac then went up 9-8 on a goal by T.J. Foley with 5:40 to go. Okie Bernabo then scored to make it 10-8. Erik Pfiffner’s fourth of the goal pulled Somers within 10-9 within just over a minute left, but the ‘Pac was able to get an insurance goal in the closing seconds.
This was Mahopac’s first win over Somers in five seasons and the first win against Yorktown, John Jay or Somers in the three years Dave and Mike Haddeland have served as co-coaches.
Penalties have plagued Somers in its first two games. Somers was called for seven penalties compared to one for St. Anthony’s in a 10-7 season-opening loss a week ago. Tonight, the margin was 8-1, and at one point in the game, Somers was three men down.
After trailing 2-1 after one quarter, Somers outscored Mahopac 4-1 in the second period to take a 5-3 lead. Somers’ lead was cut to 8-7 after three.
Donohue and Petre each added two goals and an assist for Somers. A behind-the-back goal by Petre on a fastbreak gave Somers a 6-4 lead early in the third quarter.
Somers now awaits Round 1 against John Jay on Thursday at John Jay. How that one will end up is anyone’s guess at this point.
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