The East Hampton field hockey team is on a serious mission to make the playoffs, and in recent games, that’s been obvious.
The Lady Bonackers improved to 6-3-1 after their third straight win, a 3-2 triumph over Pierson at home on October 9. That win, combined with a win by the same score at home against Southampton on October 7, pushed the Lady Bonackers into fourth place in Division III with 119.190 power points, prior to Tuesday’s game. East Hampton and Southampton were scheduled to square off in the continuation of an overtime contest that began in early September where the outcome was protested because of a misinterpretation of the overtime rules by one of the officials. Results will be in next week’s edition.
Southampton (4-5-1, 5-51 overall) sat in fifth place with 117.240 power points after losing, 2-0, to first-place Miller Place (8-1, 9-1) last week. Pierson (6-4), sat in ninth place with 104.540 points after the loss to East Hampton.
The playoffs aren’t in doubt for Southampton and Pierson—as two of the five Class C teams in the division, they only need to finish in the top three out of those five schools in order to qualify, and they’ve proven themselves to be superior to the other ‘C’ squads. If the playoffs started today, Southampton would earn the top seed and a first-round bye, right to the county final, while Pierson would square off against the three-seed for the right to play Southampton in the county championship. A rematch between defending state champion Pierson and Southampton in the county final is highly likely.
East Hampton, however, is a Class B school and thus will need to finish among the top half of the ‘B’ teams in the division to make the postseason.
Against Pierson, Francesca Keogh scored the winner with 6:20 left in the game, off a rebound from Sophia DePasquale’s shot after a breakaway.
East Hampton scored first, on the first of two goals from Brooke Rivkind, with 22:06 left in the first half. Pierson’s Hollie Schleicher tied it at 1-1 off a cross from Caroline Grout with 10:08 left, but Rivkind struck again with 7:32 left in the first half. Erica Selyukova tied it midway through the second half before Keogh’s game-winning goal.
Pierson head coach Shannon Judge said that while it’s been frustrating for her team to lose close games against the tougher opponents, like East Hampton, on what has been a relatively weak schedule, she said she’s also taken solace in the fact that her young team has been competitive against the larger schools.
“We have been right there with those teams, they haven’t been blowouts, so that’s a positive thing,” she said. “Losing 1-0 or 2-0 is frustrating, but as long as we are playing well and at many times are dominating against the bigger teams, I feel it’s good.”
The Lady Mariners lost to Miller Place for the second time this year, but had a much better showing than they did in a 7-0 road loss earlier in the season. Miller Place scored less than two minutes into the second half, and then scored on a stroke with just 2:30 left in the game for the final margin. Southampton head coach Jess Zukosky said the stroke was a questionable call, as the official on the far side of the play ruled that the ball had gotten wedged in goalie Alex Ambrose’s pads during a scramble in front. But Zukosky said at that point, the extra goal didn’t make a big difference in the outcome of the game.
While the Lady Mariners did a better job keeping the Miller Place offense at bay, they had trouble generating any of their own, failing to get a shot on goal.
“They’re a good team,” Zukosky said of Miller Place. “Their passes were exact and they’re aggressive. Considering that the last time, we got off the bus and lost 7-0, I was okay with it. We would’ve had to have the perfect game to beat them.”
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 10/15, Miller Place at East Hampton (4:30 p.m.), Southampton at Greeenport/Southold (4:30 p.m.), and Shoreham at Pierson (4 p.m.); Friday, 10/17, East Hampton at Harborfields (4:30 p.m.), Southampton at Sayville (4:30 p.m.), and Pierson at Hampton Bays (7 p.m.); Monday, 10/20, Sayville at Pierson, 4:30 p.m.