They kept it close for as long as possible, but in the end the Carle Place field hockey team was simply too much for Southampton in the Long Island Class C Championship.
The Lady Frogs advanced to states with a 5-1 win on Sunday night at Cold Spring Harbor High School, ending what was otherwise a successful season for the Lady Mariners.
Carle Place was led by standout forward Elissa Frein, who scored the first of her three goals with 18:10 left in the first half, a nice lifted push shot that found the upper left-hand corner, just out of reach of Southampton junior goalie Alex Ambrose, who had made a series of diving saves in the minutes leading up to that goal. Early in the second half, the Lady Frogs went up, 2-0, when Shannon McGuinness scored on a hard push shot from the top of the circle that was sent in on a corner by Sophia Urrutia, who got the assist, with 24:34 left to play.
Southampton’s Chloe Schmidt gave her team new life with 16:33 left, when a shot she pushed across the circle from the right side dribbled past Carle Place goalie Lydia Rice, who had given up just five goals all season coming into the game, and found its way into the left corner of the cage, making it 2-1.
But it didn’t take Carle Place long to respond. With 13 minutes left, Urrutia intercepted a pass, beat a few defenders, and crossed it to Frein, who one-timed a nice shot into the goal to put the Lady Frogs up, 3-1.
Rice made a nice play with 7:37 left in the game, batting down a hard shot by Southampton senior Meggie Gallo that had deflected up into the air off a Carle Place defender’s stick. The Lady Frogs scored twice more in the final five minutes, with Samantha Reed getting a goal at the 4:14 mark, and Frein putting the exclamation point on the game by dribbling the length of the field and scoring with just 47 seconds left.
Southampton’s Schmidt was named to the All-Tournament team, along with McGuinness and Frein for Carle Place.
It was an emotional game for the Lady Frogs, who lost to Pierson in the Long Island Championship last year, as Rice had found her grandmother dead in her home just hours before the game.
Southampton will say goodbye to five seniors, including defenders Caroline Ricca, Keara Wood and Leila Thomas, as well as Gallo, one of the team’s leading scorers, along with reserve player Amanda Schreiber.
Southampton head coach Jess Zukosky said that while it was tough to lose, she had to tip her hat to a talented Carle Place team.
“I think we had moments that were okay, I think we had moments where things were flowing,” she said after the game. “But [Carle Place] had more moments. I think our midfield was a little sluggish today, and [Carle Place] is just fast and very accurate, and they were all over us.
“You don’t mind losing—well, you do mind losing, but you don’t mind losing to a team that’s that good,” Zukosky added.
The coach said she was particularly happy with the play of Schmidt, who was a scoring threat for the Lady Mariners throughout the game. She also admired Ricca’s effort on defense, particularly as she was hit in the jaw with the ball early in the game but eventually game back in and played the rest of the night. Zukosky said that freshman defender Sam Wesnofske did a nice job coming off the bench as well.
She said the seniors, in particular, should be proud of their effort despite the loss. “They all played with heart, and it was a good game to end their careers, because you want to go out playing hard.”