VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Erica LaManna said she had the proverbial butterflies prior to the Harrison girls’ soccer team season-opener Tuesday - and for good reason.
The sophomore was making her varsity debut as Harrison opened the 2012 season against host Valhalla. Though LaManna was nervous, it did not take her long to get into the flow of the game.
LaManna scored her first varsity goal, 10 minutes into the second half, sending Harrison to a 2-1 victory over Valhalla.
“It felt really good that I was able to contribute and help my team win,” said a smiling LaManna, as her proud mother watched. “I felt really nervous going into the game. I didn’t want to mess up, but once I touched the ball and made a good pass, I heard my teammates cheering me on. That made me feel good.”
Harrison and Valhalla traded goals in the first half with Sarah Berman giving the guests a 1-0 lead before Mary Kelly evened the score. The Huskies opened the second half with a crisp passing game and it resulted in them carrying the play. This would lead to LaManna’s goal.
Rula Samad took the ball down the left wing and rocketed a crossing pass. Paige Brabant one-touched it and LaManna deposited the shot home 10 minutes into the second half.
“I just wanted to make sure I put the ball into the goal,” LaManna said. “At first, I was shocked because I didn’t believe that I had just scored, but then my teammates congratulated me and they were giving me high-fives.”
Harrison outshot Valhalla, 19-7, as Jordan Riddl played the first half and made three saves and Gina Mancini handled four shots in the second half. Valhalla goalie Frankie Guzzo made 19 saves.
“Our communication was really strong,” LaManna said. “The way we bonded with each other was really good and we were passing the ball effectively.”