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Mamaroneck beats Ward Melville, 2-1

Jillian Richards made an impact on a penalty corner at the most opportune time.

The Mamaroneck senior, who assisted on the winning goal in the Tigers’ regional victory over Section 2’s Niskayuna, asserted herself and it proved to be the difference.

Richards received a pass from Jessica Gardiner and scored with 1:48 remaining in the game, thrusting Mamaroneck to a 2-1 victory over Ward Melville in a Class A state semifinal at Vestal High School.

Mamaroneck will play Greene (Section 4) in the final noon Saturday. This will be Mamaroneck’s third appearance in a state championship game. The Tigers won it all in 2004 and were runners-up in 2005. Greene enters the game with four state championships in program history.

Mamaroneck coach John Savage credited his defense with another excellent game, especially the penalty-corner unit. Ward Melville (Section 11) had 18 penalty corners to Mamaroneck’s three, but only capitalized once.

Caroline Clark gave Mamaroneck a 1-0 lead.

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November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Lakeland takes Garden City, 3-2 in overtime

When Bridget McGovern first sent a long pass to the left side of Garden City’s defensive zone, it appeared to be going out of bounds as it rapidly accelerated on the turf.

Shannon Scavelli kicked it into high gear though, and controlled the ball before it left the field of play. Once Scavelli had it on her stick, the sophomore forward made the biggest impact on the season to date.

Scavelli ripped a drive, from 12 yards out, by Garden City goale Kaitlyn Williams with 2:55 remaining in overtime, lifting Lakeland to a 3-2 victory over the 2008 Class B state champions at Vestal High School.

Lakeland (21-0-1) will be making a Section 1-best eighth appearance in a state championship game. The Hornets will play Maine-Endwell (Section 4), who beat Amherst (Section 6), 4-1, in the final Saturday, 10 a.m. This is also Lakeland’s third trip to the final in the last four years. Lakeland won the state Class A championship in 2006 and was a Class A finalist in 2007. The last time Maine-Endwell played a Section 1 team in the Class B state final was 2005, losing to Putnam Valley, 1-0 in double overtime. In 2004 Maine-Endwell shocked Rye that day, 1-0, scoring with two seconds remaining in the second overtime period on a penalty corner. Rye outplayed and outshot Maine-Endwell on that day.

Emma Bozek forced overtime, scoring with 1:47 remaining in regulation, on a beautiful crossing pass from Chelsea Remling.

“Shannon was our only forward,” said Lakeland coach Sharon Sarsen of the 7 v. 7 overtime period. “Shannon is always looking to give the ball to someone else. I told her she needed to be the one to shoot. Shannon did a great job of chasing the pass down, gave herself a great angle and just blasted it. It was a great thing for Shannon to step up and do it.”

Lakeland led 1-0 at halftime as Nikki Schultz scored off of a broken penalty corner with 4:50 remaining in the first haf. Garden City took the lead, scoring twice (Alex Bruno at 7:16 and Katie D’Antonio at 15:23) in an eight-minute span. This was the first time Lakeland trailed all season and it was the most goals allowed in a game by the Hornets.

Sarsen called a time out with nine minutes on the clock and promptly made a few adjustments. Sarsen took Megan Bozek and Emma Bozek and moved them back to the forward line from midfield and had Remling go from defense to right mid.

“Megan and Emma were needed in the midfield because Garden City has a great passing game,” Sarsen said. “But we then needed to score so Megan and Emma went back to forward. I moved Chelsea because she was fresh and we needed her quickness in the midfield.”

Sarsen said she did not see any panic or concern in her team’s collective eyes during the timeout.

“They knew what they had to do and where they had to be so they went out there and did it,” Sarsen said.

Remling set up the equalizer, sending a free hit from the right wing across the field right to Emma Bozek’s stick. Bozek welcomed the pass and then ripped a drive from 10 yards out

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Section 1 history at the State Championships

I was looking at my 2008 state field hockey championship program recently. I do this every year but never remember to keep track of the numbers. This time I will. Here is a look at why Section 1 is one of, if not the best section in the state.

State titles by section: The total number, followed by the leaders.

Section 4: 20 – Marathon (seven), Greene (four) and Maine-Endwell (three).

Section 1: 19 – Rye (four, 2000, ’01, ’03, ’07), Lakeland (three, 1990, 2003, ’06), Mahopac (two, 1992, 2001), Brewster (two, 1992, ’96), Rye Neck (two, 1984, 1998), John Jay-East Fishkill (two, 1998, 2002), Mamaroneck (one, 2004), Putnam Valley (one, 2005), Bronxville (one, 1994), Scarsdale (one, 1996).

Section 2: 13 – Johnstown (three), Fort Ann (two), Schuylerville (two), Glens Falls (two).

Section 11: 11 – Miller Place (five), Centereach (three).

Section 8: 11 – Garden City (six), Carle Place (five).

Section 5: 4 – East Rochester (three).

Section 3: 3

Section 6: 3

Section 9: 2 – Red Hook (two).

As you can see, other sections have one or two teams that dominated that respective section when it comes to state championships. Section 4 is a prime example and is fortunate to have Marathon. The same can be said for Section 8 with Garden City.

Section 1 has 19 state championships won by nine different schools. No other section has as much depth as Section 1. Section 1 has also had 15 other state finalists:

Lakeland (four), Brewster (two), Bronxville (two), Mahopac (one), Rye Neck (one), Carmel (one), Pleasantville (one), North Salem (one), Rye (one), Mamaroneck (one) 

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2003 season – Lakeland

After winning the Section 1 Class B title and advancing to regional play in 1999, Lakeland endured an uncharacteristic dry spell.

The Hornets went three years without winning a sectional title, despite reaching the Class A final in 2000, ’01 and ’02. Veteran Lakeland coach Sharon Sarsen entered the 2003 season with one of her youngest teams. Sarsen had only three seniors – forward Danielle Fiore, back Andi Coiro and Alicia Wolf. Sarsen also kept four freshmen – Kara Connoly, Melissa Gonzalez, Rebecca DiSisto and Amy Voelkel – the most ninth-graders during her tenure. Sarsen was quite clear when she told me, prior to the season, that she didn’t know what to expect.

While Sarsen was unsure of what the season would bring, she was treated to a special conclusion by her team, especially by the intense Fiore.

Lakeland would win the Section 1 Class A title, beating nemesis Brewster, which had triumphed over the Hornets in the 2000 and 2001 Class B title games. Before the championship-game victory though, Lakeland overcame a rising Mamaroneck team, 5-4 in overtime of a semifinal.

The Hornets ripped their way through regionals and were dominant in the state final four, capping it with a 2-0 victory over Williamsville North in the title game, giving Sarsen a second state championship. Fiore, who was lethal on penalty corners all season with her howitzer shot, scored both goals on corners and was named the MVP.

“This team came out of the blue,” said Sarsen, who has more than 350 career wins. “I think we shocked everyone. It was a revelation to us as if to say, ‘Look what we’ve done.’ ”

Fiore and Coiro had outstanding seasons and the four freshmen all made positive contributions. Section 1 learned that season that Gonzalez (now playing at UConn) was on her way to becoming one of the finest all-around players in Section 1 history. Gonzalez contributed a double-digit goal total that season as did Connolly (now playing at New Hampshire).

Sarsen credited Fiore and Coiro with taking control and showing outstanding leadership.

“Danielle and Andi put this team on their backs,” Sarsen said. “They were not intimidated. They said, ‘Let’s get it done.’ When we got to the state tournament, nobody was intimidated by any team and that was because of Danielle and Andi.”

Even though Lakeland was a sectional finalist in 2004 and was upset by John Jay-East Fishkill in a semifinal in 2005, the Hornet rebounded to win the Section 1 Class A title, 2-1 over Mamaroneck. Melissa Gonzalez played one of the finest games I have ever witnessed as a reporter. Despite drawing double and sometimes triple teams, Gonzalez scored the eventual decisive goal on an outstanding individual effort.

The four seniors who were together since freshmen year – Gonzalez, Connolly, DiSisto and Voelkel – along with classmates Rosemarie Fazio and Jessica Mucci took over during the postseason. The senior class led Lakeland to a second state championship in 2006.

Once this group graduated, questions abounded as to whether Lakeland could repeat. What many did not understand was that the junior class of Caitlin Collins (now playing at Louisville), Chelsea Robinson, Cassie O’Mara, Tara McGovern and Leah DiSisto was an excellent group. Caitlins was a playmaking center midfielder, Robinson a lighting-quick forward who was dangerous any time the ball was on her stick, O’Mara a creator on the wing, McGovern an outstanding defender and scorer on penalty corners and DiSisto a fine goalie who always made the big save.

Lakeland would play Mamaroneck in the Section 1 Class A final and add a second consecutive title. The Hornets reached the 2007 state final, but was surprised by Williamsville North, 2-1. Despite the result, Sarsen was proud of her team, especially the 2008 senior class that was always in the shadow of  the 2007 graduating class.

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment