If there was any doubt about how important Erica Selyukova was for the Pierson field hockey team, it was proven in the Lady Whalers’s 3-1 loss at Sayville on Monday.
Early in the first half, with her team leading, 1-0, the senior midfielder was hit in the chin with a Sayville player’s stick on a follow-through, and had to come out of the game for 15 minutes to have her wound butterflied. In the time she was on the sidelines, the Lady Golden Flashes scored twice. The final goal of the game was added with less than four minutes left in the second half.
Pierson head coach Shannon Judge said it was painfully obvious that her team suffered without Selyukova.
“It was an onslaught without her defensive abilities,” Judge said. “She really controls the entire field and is involved in every play.”
Pierson came out strong in the second half, but couldn’t tally the equalizer. The first goal was scored by eighth-grader Hollie Schleicher, off an assist from Selyukova. She passed the ball to Schleicher at the top of the circle, before, and Schleicher then beat two defenders before putting the shot in the right corner of the cage.
Pierson outdueled Sayville on corners, 7-4, and Pierson goalie Sheila McKay made three saves.
The loss—combined with a 1-0 loss at Shoreham/Wading River on September 17 and an 8-0 trouncing of Hampton Bays in Sag Harbor on Saturday—moved Pierson to 3-3 in Division III. And while the loss to Sayville was disappointing, it wasn’t detrimental to the long-term goals of advancing to the postseason, as Sayville is a Class B school (Pierson is Class C) and Sayville was ranked ahead of Pierson in the power rankings at the time.
“This doesn’t really hurt our standings,” Judge said. “I do think we will be more competitive next game against them.”
In the loss to Shoreham, Pierson had plenty of chances to score, but was stymied by Shoreham’s Emily DeGennaro, one of the top goalies on Long Island. DeGennaro made 12 saves on the day. Shoreham scored the only goal with about eight minutes left in the first half.
“We had a mediocre first half, we came out very strong in the second but were unable to convert,” Judge said. Pierson was also missing defender Rachael Miller, who is pivotal in creating the transition from defense to offense for the Lady Whalers.
Pierson took care of business quickly against a weak Hampton Bays team. Ana Sherwood scored the first of her five goals just 1:46 into the game. She finished with two assists as well. Cali Cafiero scored twice and Schleicher added a goal.
The Lady Mariners improved to 2-2 in Division III, 3-2 overall, with a pair of shutout wins last week. Southampton edged Sayville, 1-0, at home on Friday after beating Greenport/Southold, 5-0, at home on September 17. In the win over Sayville, Meggie Gallo scored the only goal of the game with 11 minutes left in the first half, off assists from Chloe Schmidt and Leila Thomas. Alex Ambrose made two saves. Against Greenport/Southold, Miranda Maloney scored twice, and Gallo, Schmidt and Shelby Pierson all had a goal.
The Lady Bonackers moved to 3-2 in Division III after losing two of their last three games. East Hampton defeated Hampton Bays, 7-0, at home on Monday, going up 5-0 at halftime and never looking back. Grace Amaden had two goals, while Cammie DiGate, Francesca Keogh, Alyssa Bahel, Brooke Rivkind, and Georgia Bennett all scored. DiGate, Keogh, Bahel, and Dylan Schleider all had assists. The win came on the heels of a pair of shutout losses for East Hampton, a 2-0 defeat at home against Harborfields on Saturday and a 5-0 loss at second-place Miller Place on September 17. Harborfields scored both of its goals in the first half, while Miller Place had a 2-0 lead at the half in its win over the Lady Bonackers.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Pierson—Tuesday, 9/30, at Babylon, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/1, vs. Greenport/Southold, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 10/6, at Port Jefferson, 4:30 p.m. Southampton—Tuesday, 9/23, at Comsewogue, 6 p.m.; Tuesday, 9/30, at Shoreham, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/2, vs. Rocky Point, 4 p.m. East Hampton—Tuesday, 9/30, at Rocky Point, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/2, at Port Jefferson, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 10/6, at East Hampton, 4:30 p.m.