FARMINGDALE — Its postseason hopes are up in the air. And with the chances for a victory that would help in that pursuit fading, the Hall-Dale girls soccer team went to work.

Sabrina Freeman scored as part of a flurry of chances late in the second half, lifting the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory over Mt. Abram — one that, with Hall-Dale (4-7-1) sitting 11th and a spot out of the playoff cutoff in Class C South — coach Guy Cousins knew his team couldn’t let slip away.

“It’s huge. We were on the outside looking in before this game started (Friday),” he said. “We were knowing we were going to have to step up and really make a decision whether we wanted to have a second season or not.”

His team got the message, even if it took a while. Hall-Dale took a 1-0 first-half lead on a pretty Bella Marino goal, but saw Mt. Abram (3-5-4) tie it up on a Summer Ross long kick that took a high bounce and trickled into the net with 35:25 to play.

The score stood that way until, with just over 20 minutes to play, Hall-Dale began to take chances and reap the rewards. Addie Davis worked her way through two defenders and nearly connected with Freeman on a crossing pass, and Madisyn Smith outraced a defender to a loose ball, got by her, and fired another crossing pass that was redirected high.

With 14:41 to go, the Bulldogs finally converted. Marino slipped a pass from the left over to Freeman, who made a touch past a defender, found open grass and fired a shot just under the crossbar for the 2-1 lead.

“I’ve been working a lot on taking the ball and facing goal, facing to where I want to play,” Freeman said. “I took that dribble, saw the opening between defenders and just took it.”

Now ahead, Hall-Dale pushed for more. Freeman found Sierra Millay with a pass for a shot that clanged off the crossbar in the 67th minute. Then, Millay was stopped on a shot set up by a Davis pass in the 69th minute, and Davis kept it herself for a shot from up close that missed just right and sailed into the side netting in the 78th minute.

“We just said ‘OK, it’s time to step up, it’s time to start taking people on 1-on-1,’ ” Cousins said. “With that sort of pressure it was just a matter of time before we were going to get one. We just haven’t always been lucky with the finishing. Today we were.”

The Bulldogs’ first goal — an arcing, twisting shot from Marino from the left corner of the box that sailed into the top right corner — provided an early highlight. From there, Mt. Abram kept the Bulldogs at bay — until the last quarter of the game.

“My girls played three games this week. They played in Lisbon (on Thursday) on a hot field, so they were tired and a little dehydrated,” Roadrunners coach Andrew Delcourt said. “I’m taking nothing away from a very talented Hall-Dale team. They upped it in the second half, had a lot of very good shots on goal. Could have been a much higher result.”

The Bulldogs needed only one to go in, though. They got it, and if they can turn the momentum into a playoff spot, Cousins likes their chances.

“We’re starting to play well and maybe peak at the right time,” he said. “We’ve got a couple more matches, and we’ll take them one at a time like we always do.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM


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