Nice Boost For Lady Whalers; Mixed Results For Southampton, East Hampton

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It was a good week for the Pierson field hockey team.

The Lady Whalers got a nice bump in the Division III power rankings after a 1-0 upset win over Rocky Point on September 30. They followed up that victory with a 2-1 defeat of Bayport/Blue Point at home two days later. The wins moved Pierson to 5-3 on the season, good enough for fifth place with 119.300 power points. Miller Place (8-1, 9-1 overall) stayed atop the standings (149.720 points), followed by Sayville (5-3, 6-3, 128.480), Harborfields (5-3, 125.280) and Rocky Point (5-3, 5-4 overall, 122.220).

East Hampton moved to 5-3 after a 2-1 home loss to Harborfields on October 1 and a 5-0 win over last-place Hampton Bays (0-8) on October 3. The Lady Bonackers sat in sixth place with 112.620 points as of Monday morning. Southampton (6-3, 7-3, 111.860) was right behind in seventh place after a 1-0 road win against Port Jefferson on October 1 and a 5-1 home win over Babylon the next day before a 3-1 loss at Sayville on Friday.

East Hampton was scheduled to host eighth-place Shoreham/Wading River (4-4, 4-5)—which handed Miller Place its first loss last week—on Monday. For results, see this week’s Monday Roundup article.

Pierson

The key moment in Pierson’s win over Bayport (3-6, 3-7) came in the second half. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Bayport was given a great opportunity when Pierson’s star player, Kasey Gilbride, was carded and sent to the bench for a two-minute penalty. Instead of letting the Lady Phantoms take advantage of the man-up situation, the Lady Whalers killed the momentum when India Hemby scored off a shot the rebounded off the goalie pads, giving Pierson a 2-0 lead. Bayport scored late in the game, with a goal by Emily Sena at the 4:55 mark, but never threatened to tie it after that. Ana Sherwood had scored Pierson’s first goal just 1:15 into the game off an assist from Gilbride.

“It was nice to see the team rally with a player down,” head coach Shannon Judge said.

While it was only a one-goal game, a closer look at the numbers reveals that Pierson was the better squad. The Lady Whalers had 21 shots on goal and nine corners, while Bayport had just five corners and two shots. Judge said her team will continue to work on “consistency and finishing,” particularly in the scoring circle.

Pierson was scheduled to take on Miller Place on Tuesday, October 8, at home before taking on a weak Port Jefferson team on Thursday, October 10, on the road. Pierson beat Port Jeff, 8-2, in their first meeting and lost, 2-0, at Miller Place the first time around.

Judge said on Monday morning that she’s been pleased with the development of her team as the season has progressed.

“We have set positions now whereas [earlier in the season] we were still toying with certain players in different areas,” she said. “Having India Hemby back on left defense and Katherine Matthers as a high center defender has really solidified our defense-offense transition. Kirra McGowin and Rachael Miller have also been excellent stepping up on defense.”

Southampton

For field hockey teams lucky enough to have a FieldTurf surface at their school, playing on a grass field can become a disadvantage—natural grass is bumpier and generally slower than the smooth, artificial FieldTurf, which lends itself to crisper passing and better transitions. The Lady Mariners took on two of the weaker teams in Division III last week, blowing out Babylon, 5-1, on their home turf, a day after hanging on for a 1-0 win, on grass, at Port Jefferson.

In the win over Port Jeff, Meggie Gallo scored the only goal, unassisted, 13 minutes into the second half. Alex Ambrose got the shutout, making five saves.

“We had a very hard time with the grass that day,” Southampton head coach Jess Zukosky said. “We’re better and more skilled, but we just didn’t look great that day.”

In contrast, the Lady Mariners were unstoppable on their turf the next day against Babylon, jumping out to a 4-0 halftime lead. Chloe Schmidt scored first, off an assist from Erin Morgani, and Shelby Pierson followed with a goal on a corner, assisted by Gallo. Victoria Russo made it 3-0 off an assist from Keara Wood, and Gallo made it 4-0 by making good on a penalty stroke before halftime. Babylon avoided the shutout with a goal just a minute into the second half, but Southampton had the final say when Miranda Maloney scored off an assist from Schmidt with five minutes left in the game.

“They played well in that game,” Zukosky said of her team. “They played like they should have played against Port Jeff. It’s just a much different surface [than grass]. I believe it’s harder if you play on turf all the time, it’s harder to go play on grass. It’s easier if you play on grass all the time and then have to play on turf. We just had a hard time controlling the ball against Port Jeff.”

After taking on the weaker teams, Southampton took on one of the best on Friday, losing, 3-1, at Sayville. Ambrose kept the score respectable by making 32 saves on the day.

“She played a phenomenal game,” Zukosky said. “They were just better. They were all over the circle. We only had five shots on goal and had a hard time finishing. We need to get that hunger in the circle.”

Sayville had a 2-0 halftime lead. Shelby Pierson scored seven minutes into the second half off an assist by Schmidt, but Sayville pushed its lead back to two goals halfway through the second half.

East Hampton

The Lady Bonackers began last week with a tough 2-1 loss to Harborfields, a game that went to one-on-one shootouts, a new rule this year that took the place of penalty strokes. There is no sudden victory in the shoot-outs—a set of five alternating shoot-outs takes place in each series until one team wins a series. The ball is placed on the nearest 25-yard line opposite the center of the goal, and the attacker stands outside the 25-yard line near the ball. Once the whistle blows, the attacker has eight seconds to score.

The Lady Bonackers struck first in the game, when Amanda Calabrese scored off an assist from Casey Waleko in the first half. Harborfields’ Sam Gray scored later in the half to tie it up, and after a scoreless second half and seven-on-seven overtime period, Harborfields won the game by outshooting East Hampton, 2-1, in one-vs.-one situations. Gray had the winning goal in that session for Harborfields. Alyssa Bahel scored East Hampton’s only shootout goal.

The Lady Bonackers rebounded with a 5-0 home win over winless Hampton Bays on October 3. Grace Amaden scored the first of her two goals in the first half, off an assist from Sophia DePasquale, to give East Hampton a 1-0 halftime lead. Amaden scored again the second half, while both DePasquale and Brooke Rivkind finished the game with a goal and an assist, Kathryn Wood scored once, Bahel had two assists, and Georgia Bennett had one assist.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Pierson—Tuesday, 10/8, vs. Miller Place, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/10, at Port Jeff, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/16, vs. East Hampton, 4 p.m. Southampton—Tuesday, 10/8, at Bayport, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/10, vs. Shoreham, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/16, vs. Greenport/Southold, 4:30 p.m. East Hampton—Saturday, 10/12, vs. Miller Place, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/16, at Pierson, 4 p.m.; Thursday, 10/17, vs. Sayville, 4:30 p.m.

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