There were big doings Friday in field hockey.
The biggest of the big saw Pearl River claim its first-ever league field hockey title with a 4-0 win over Clarkstown South.
Courtney Ocasal netted two goals, Maggie Davin and Jackie Dowling one apiece and Annie McBride stopped all eight shots she faced as the Pirates won the League IV-A crown.
“It meant a lot, especially for the girls who put in a few years on varsity,” Pirates coach Shane Carlacci told TJN’s Debbie Schechter. “They won the summer league this year. A lot of them play all year round. Since the first day of pre-season, that was their goal. I asked them in the spring what would be the goal for this year and the majority of them said winning leagues. They met their goal and they’re really excited to move into playoffs.”
The win didn’t come easily.
Leading 2-0, the host Pirates weathered multiple Clarkstown South corners in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“It was great that they were able to maintain and hold them,” Carlacci said. “South, to give them credit, they came out really strong. In the second half, they came out and put pressure on us right away. The defense has worked hard all season long.”
Davin assisted on two goals and Dowling and Ana Maria Ferrara each had one assist.
The victory was the Pirates’ 10th this season.
Sarah Donnelly had 10 saves and Emily Pearson four for Clarkstown South.
Unlikely hero keeps Nanuet’s sectional hopes alive
While the Pirates were celebrating, host Nanuet was keeping its hopes for post-season play alive with a 0-0 tie against Nyack.
It wasn’t exactly the Lou Gehrig-Wally Pipp story but, for one day, anyway, Kelsey Pugh was star and life- (or, in this instance, season-) saver.
The senior defensive back, a sub on the Golden Knights, had always wanted to try playing goal. But she never had—not even in practice.
Friday, though, Julia Bartell, the squad’s only goalie, was out sick.
Eight saves and 20 Nanuet corners later, exit Pugh as the shutout hero.
Pugh and the rest of the Golden Knights not only held their own without Bartell but also without playmaker Carley Davin.
The junior sustained a concussion when her face smacked the steering wheel Sunday morning during a two-car accident.
Friday, she was on the sidelines, cheering her teammates.
“I think everyone stepped up,” said Davin, who hopes to be cleared to play next week.
Photos and video of the game are on lohud.com .
Below is my story about it.
NANUET –If Las Vegas had been interested in Friday’s Nyack vs. Nanuet field hockey game there’s no doubt Nanuet would have been judged the longest of long shots.
Forget that the host Golden Knights were 4-8-2 and that the Indians 8-4-3.
The larger story was that playmaker Carley Davin – ‘the grease of our machine,” as Nanuet coach Karen Leitner calls her – was out with a concussion sustained in an auto accident Sunday that totaled her car.
And the squad’s only goalie, Julia Bartell, was out sick.
Well, Bartell had been the only goalie.
Enter Kelsey Pugh, who normally comes off the bench to play right defensive back.
She volunteered for net at lunchtime, then put the pads on for the first time ever and proceeded to stop all eight shots she faced as Nanuet tied Nyack 0-0.
“I’ve always wanted to play goalie and the team needed it,” said the senior, who smiled when talking about the “adrenaline rush” she felt when Nyack shot.
And there were a lot of shots, although Nanuet’s defense ensured that only the eight made it to Pugh.
Nyack dominated the game everywhere but on the scoreboard. Nanuet got only two shots on Indians’ keeper Alexis Kydon – both in the first half. And Nyack had 20 corners to Nanuet’s two.
But Pugh played her angles like a seasoned veteran and shut down the high-scoring Taylor O’Sullivan— her stops including a nice save on a high O’Sullivan backhand.
Nyack coach Cheryl Baker said she hoped the game would serve as a “wake-up call” going into sectionals.
At this point, Nanuet, which has one game remaining against Sleepy Hollow next week and hopes Davin is medically cleared to play in it, just hopes to make sectionals.
But Friday’s game seemed to provide an enormous lift.
“We were really on our heels. The kids had to step up and they did,” Leitner said.
And of Pugh’s effort, she added, “Of all the kids, she’s probably the most passionate about the sport… Our kids played for her. It was contagious. The kids responded and that was awesome.”
“It was intense and it was thrilling,” Pugh remarked of her day in goal. “It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my field hockey career.”
Extra game notes: One of Pugh’s saves against O’Sullivan was on a corner. But Nanuet did a good job disrupting the Indians’ rhythm during many of their 20 corners and either blocked or picked off its shots and passes.
“I knew our team could handle it,” Pugh said of the multitude of corners it faced.
Of her mindset as Nyack basically camped in the Nanuet end of the field, Pugh said, “I was just thinking they’d better not get it in.”
Spoken like a true goalie…
One positive for Nyack was Andie (no relation to Taylor) O’Sullivan’s play.
She displayed plenty of quickness and cutting ability despite being back only about a week from ACL surgery recovery.
In fact, with about 26:20 left in the second half, Pugh outright robbed her on a drive from in close…
With Nanuet playing short, the free, drive-out-of-zone duties fell to Corinne Berkery, who, despite being just a freshman, displayed loads of power.
Other October 18 scores
Horace Greeley 2, Harrison 1
Sarah Jane Weill provided all the offense the Quakers would need to win their ninth game of the season.
Bernadette Grant and Olivia Green had assists.
Christine Cardascia scored and Christina Decarlo had seven saves for the Huskies.
Olivia Harris stopped two shots for Greeley.
Irvington 3, Ossining 0
Mallory Toolan scored two goals and Lauren Chafizadeh one for the Bulldogs.
Emma DeRose, Victoria Jelenek and Chafizadeh each had an assist.
Irvington netminder Andie Regan had eight saves in the shutout and was helped by defensemen Randi Myers, Katie McMahon and Isabella Kashkin.
Lucia Tonelli stopped seven shots for Ossining.
Mamaroneck 9, Hastings 1
Twins Karen and Ellie Seid did what they do best Friday, scoring and helping others find the net.
Karen had four goals and one assist and Ellie two goals and three assists as Mamaroneck won its 13th game of the season.
Sydney Segal scored a pair of goals and Lizzie Clarke added one.
Gracie Fitzgerald and Greta Massey each had an assist.
Lucy Sedky scored for the Yellow Jackets.
Pelham 6, Sleepy Hollow 1
Courtney Ryan and Chandler Solimine each scored two goals and Julia Kavanagh added another for Pelham.
Solimine had two assists and Ryan one.
Mary Kilfeather had six saves for the Pelicans.
Heather Colley scored off an assist from Sarah McCarthy and Marissa Fortugna turned away 13 shots for Sleepy Hollow.
Scarsdale 6, White Plains 0
The good news for White Plains was Zoe Shannon’s 25 saves.
The bad news was she couldn’t stop everything.
Scarsdale rolled to its 13th win of the year with senior Caroline Knapp scoring twice and adding three assists.
Clara Belk, Sarah Melhman, Erin Nicholas and Lindsey Repp also scored for the Raiders.
Michaela Nicholas and Olivia Henkoff had assists and Leah Cannon stopped two shots.
Suffern 4, Clarkstown North 0
Well, it certainly isn’t 2012 when it did the once unthinkable and captured a section crown.
But Suffern at least has secured a winning season and will, therefore, get a shot and defending that crown.
Amy McNally, Casey Macchia, Sydney Hiller and Nicole Caridi scored Friday.
Alyssa Sanchez stopped six shots to gain the shutout.
Rebecca Fliegel had 18 saves for Clarkstown North.
Panas at Lourdes, 12 p.m.
Hastings at Rye Neck, 12:30 p.m.
Carmel at Ketcham, 1 p.m.
Byram Hills at Croton-Harmon, 2 p.m. (CET Field)
Mahopac at John Jay-East Fishkill, 2 p.m.
Pleasantville at Briarcliff, 2 p.m.
Yorktown at John Jay-Cross River, 2 p.m.
Brewster at North Salem, 2:30 p.m.
Somers at Putnam Valley, 2:30 p.m.
Scarsdale at Mamaroneck, 7:30 p.m.