Northside recovers quickly to move onto semis

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Von Steuben drew first blood against favored Northside in the quarterfinals of the Public League city tournament Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs got mad. “That was a slap in the face,” sophomore midfielder Sarah Mullen said. “You definitely can’t let them score like that at the start of the game. It’s not something you can just let happen.

“You have to pick it up.”

Junior Bella Manobianco answered 20 seconds later as the Mustangs scored three goals in five minutes in coasting to the 7-2 victory over the Panthers at Lane.

Manobianco and senior Nora O’Brien recorded three goals apiece for the Mustangs (10-5-1), who advance to play second-seed Young in the second semifinal Tuesday at Lane.

Senior forward Amenah Diaz-Thomas snuck behind the Mustangs’ defensive line and punched in a short volley in the fourth minute as Von Steuben jumped out to the surprising 1-0 lead. The Panthers got Northside’s attention.

Northside converted its anger into positive actions. Off the re-start, Manobianco tore down the left side and unfurled a left-footed dart for the quick equalizer. Less than half a mintue later, O’Brien caught a sharp pass from Mullen for a 2-1 lead it never relinquished.

O’Brien scored again in the ninth minute as Northside assumed the 3-1 lead at the break. “After they scored, we definitely picked it up after that, and focused on finishing and just getting the bal down and doing what we needed to do,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien recorded back-to-back hat tricks, having also scored three goals in a pool play game on Thursday.

Mullen, who leads the team with 17 goals, contributed a goal and three assists for the Mustangs. She broke the game open in the 47th minute on a breakaway that she punctuated by drawing the keeper out and finishing in the open net.

Manobianco added two goals as Northside turned the game into a rout. “We definitely play as a ful team,” she said. “It’s never just one person. We always play more as a unit, and what we work for and how we play better and play our game.

“You can’t get to the semifinals unless you’re using everybody on your team.”

Patricia George added a goal for the Panthers (5-5-3).

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