BEDFORD – A few seconds after the final horn sounded and Fox Lane field hockey coach Melissa Ponzio had stopped urging her players to “step up” and had stopped yelling, “Forwards, we need you,” Fox Lane athletic director Beth Staropoli called to her, “You can take a deep breath, coach.”
Indeed, Ponzio could breathe with ease after Thursday’s 1-0 win over visiting Nyack.
With the season waning and teams needing 40 percent wins to qualify for post-season sectional play, the victory, which lifted the Foxes to 5-5-3, was critical.
“This was huge for us,” Ponzio said.
The only score was Nicole Johnston’s goal off a Paige Beyer pass with 14:24 left in the first half.
Johnston sidestepped one defender, then sent a hard, low shot cross-net, beating Nyack keeper Alexa Kydon to her right.
Kydon, though, kept the now-7-4-2 Indians in the game with eight stops.
She got help from senior defenseman Moira Ungerleider, who had some big stops in front
But while Nyack’s defense held, its offense sputtered.
Time after time, Johnston, Claire Jeffers and others picked off Nyack passes.
The Indians mustered just one shot on Fox keeper Victoria Darling — that coming in the first half.
Fox Lane’s defense shut down speedy Indians’ forward Taylor O’Sullivan, who did a good job — particularly in the second half — dodging multiple midfielders before ultimately being stopped before getting a shot on Darling.
Nyack coach Cheryl Baker, who said her squad, which plays on grass at home, had to step up its artificial turf-play, indicated the game came down to the Foxes’ defense and middies outplaying her forwards and middies.
“I’m really proud of our defensive unit,” Ponzio said. “I feel like they’re finally clicking. And our forwards hustled and cut back to the ball.”
Johnston, who counts Oneonta, Fairleigh Dickinson and New Paltz among her possible future teams and who was being scouted by New Paltz during the game, appeared optimistic about the rest of the season.
“We have definitely come a long way,” the three-year varsity player said. “I’m so excited where we can go with this momentum.”
Game notes: Nyack’s Andie O’Sullivan, who’s working her way back from lacrosse-related ACL surgery, saw some action for the second straight game. Pre-season, the Naval Academy-bound O’Sullivan had set October 10 as her return date and, despite Baker’s cautious, “We’ll see,” response to that, O’Sullivan actually beat that goal.
To see Seth Harrison’s photos and video from the game, visit lohud.com.
Other October 10 scores
(Late add-on) Bronxville 4, Pelham 0
Gretchen Richter led the Broncos with two goals and two assists.
Blake Brashear and Helen Wood scored Bronxville’s other goals.
Chase Judkins had three saves for Bronxville.
Clarkstown South 4, Clarkstown North 0
Freshman Colleen Geyer scored a pair of goals — her first on varsity — and Amanda Heim and Tara Garvey added single goals. It was also the first varsity goal for Garvey, a junior.
Victoria Zanlunghi had two assists and Dara Studnitzer one.
Sarah Donnelly had the shutout for the Vikings, stopping nine shots.
Rebecca Fliegel made 14 saves for Clarkstown North.
Irvington 6, Hastings 1
Mallory Toolan registered a hat trick and added an assist to lead the Bulldogs.
Victoria Jalenek added two goals and Lauren Chafizadeh had one.
Chafizadeh had two assists and Jalenek, Toolan and Lindsey Chafizadeh, Taryn Grande one assist each.
Irvington’s Andie Regan had three saves.
John Jay-Cross River 3, Somers 1
Jackie Cardi, Torey Walsh and Caleigh Zipkin scored for the Indians. Erin Sanders, Hannah O’Reilly and Hannah Seidlitz had assists.
Nicole Emanuelle scored for the Tuskers off an assist from Katie Dirago.
Ketcham 2, Carmel 1
Casey Herzog and Megan Saraceno each scored and assisted on the other’s goal for Ketcham.
Nicole Monahan scored off a Jamie Manecky assist for the Rams.
Cara McConologue had four saves for the Indians and Maggie O’Shaughnessy stopped three shots for Carmel.
Mamaroneck 0, Darien 0
Call it a tie with an asterisk.
Mamaroneck’s Caroline Jensen stopped seven shots and Darien, Ct.’s Danika Hornick four during regulation.
Section 1 does not play overtime during the regular season but the game against the Connecticut powerhouse was held in Darien and Connecticut teams play sudden-death OT. Darien scored two minutes into the OT but, for Section 1’s calculations, the game was a tie.
Pearl River 3, North Rockland 0
Courtney Ocasal tallied two goals and Maggie Davin one for the Pirates.
Erin Dolphin and Jackie Dowling had assists.
Annie McBride registered the six-save shutout.
Lianne Schroba had three saves for the Red Raiders.
Rye 5, Harrison 0
Fusine Govaert paced the Garnets with two goals and an assist.
Mallory Lynch, Ellie Callaghan and Abby Abate also scored.
Brenna Smith had two saves for Rye and Christina Decarlo stopped five shots for the Panthers.
Sacred Heart 2, Holy Child 0
Sarah Jackmaughn and Emma Novick scored and Katie Larkin had six saves for Sacred Heart.
Katie O’Donnell had five saves and Madeline Ha three for Holy Child.
Scarsdale 10, Pleasantville 1
Eliza Brosgol, Lindsey Repp and Erin Nicholas each scored two goals for the Raiders. Sarah Mehlman, Caroline Knapp, Clara Belk and Olivia Gatto each added a goal.
Gatto, Knapp, Nicholas, Repp, Belk and Olivia Romano had assists.
Leah Cannon had three saves for Scarsdale.
Casey McBride scored for the Panthers and Mimi Sillings had 13 saves.
Suffern 6, Nanuet 2
Sydney Rondina had two goals to lead the Mounties.
Teammates Olivia Schember, Casey Macchia, Sydney Hiller and Kristen Constantin had solo scores and Sidney Padilla had an assist.
Alyssa Sanchez had two stops for Suffern.
Keira Young tallied Nanuet’s goals and Julia Bartell made 14 saves.
Valhalla 2, Rye Neck 0
Kristene Cura stopped 12 shots to record the shutout and Alyssa Dolan scored both Vikings’ goals.
Dolan’s first goal came off an assist from Rachel Beckley. Her second was assisted by Valerie Alvarez.
North Rockland at Clarkstown South, 3:30 p.m.
Nanuet at Pearl River, 4 p.m.
Rye Neck at Briarcliff, 4 p.m.
Byram Hills at Pleasantville, 4:15 p.m.
Irvington at Mamaroneck, 4:15 p.m.
Hen Hud at North Salem, 4:30 p.m.
Mahopac at Arlington, 4:30 p.m.
Panas at Brewster, 4:30 p.m.
Valhalla at Croton, 4:30 p.m.
Yorktown at Lakeland, 4:30 p.m.