There’s nothing boring about sectional field hockey.
Nope, not with things like Arlington senior Nichole Tolli’s trick (right-hand-behind-back) goal that helped end Ursuline’s season; Olivia Harris’ 25 saves, which proved one save too few to prolong Horace Greeley’s season Thursday; and Caroline Knapp surpassing 100 points for her career for Scarsdale with a two-goal, three-assist day.
When all was said and done, Mahopac (which edged Greeley 1-0), Arlington (which topped Ursuline 2-0), Mamaroneck (which swamped Clarkstown South 7-0) and Scarsdale, which defeated Suffern 5-1) advanced to the Section 1 class A semifinals, which will be held Saturday.
Four games are on tap today. I will be at the class C semifinal showdown between Rye Neck and North Salem.
Below is Sharieka Breeden’s game coverage from Scarsdale; my game coverage from Mahopac; a game-0f-the-day story about Ursuline’s coming-of-age season coming to an end; the recap of Mamaroneck’s win and today’s slate.
Scarsdale downs defending section champs Suffern 5-1 as Knapp tops 100 points and Rosenthal gets 150th win
SCARSDALE – The playoffs aren’t new to Scarsdale senior Caroline Knapp. Since a Class A double-overtime loss to Mamaroneck when she was a freshman, she has known what it means to rise to the occasion in clutch situations.
So Thursday, when the No. 2 Raiders got off to a slow first half start against No. 7 Suffern in a Class A quarterfinal game, Knapp knew exactly what to do. The senior took control and led Scarsdale to a 5-1 win that advanced Scarsdale to Saturday’s semifinal against Arlington.
“Once one person gets fired up, then the whole team will get fired up,” Knapp said.
Knapp getting fired up resulted in her finishing with two goals and three assists in a game during which the forward recorded her 100th career point on a goal scored just a little over two minutes into the second half.
That goal was also the Raiders’ 100th of the season. Knapp now has 66 goals and 36 assists for her varsity career.
Going into the game, the senior said she wasn’t aware she was so close to the 100-point milestone. However, she said she was aware that a victory would give her coach, Sharon Rosenthal, her 150th career win.
“This is definitely very exciting,” Knapp said. “I wasn’t thinking about it, though. My goal was to help my team achieve our goal to win.”
Rosenthal, who was excited about Knapp topping 100 points, was also enthused to see her team come alive in the second half. The Raiders led just 2-1 at halftime in a game that was a physical struggle.
Sydney Hiller’s goal and the play of netminder Alexa Hirschberg, who finished with 14 saves, kept the Mounties close until Scarsdale got going.
“We opened the flood gates in the second half,” Rosenthal said. “Suffern is tough, physical and they fight hard. History shows they play a full 60 minutes so we needed to be better, which we were.”
Lindsey Repp and Erin Nicholas each had a goal and an assist for Scarsdale. Teammate Michaella Nicholas added a goal.
“Coach told us during halftime to stay composed and avoid doing things with anxiety so we did that,” Repp said.
Suffern senior Grace Brining maintained a positive attitude after the team’s early playoff exit, one year after winning its first sectional title.
“We ended on a great note,” Brining said. “Both teams gave it there all and they played great.”
Harris stops 25 shots but not DiBello game-winner
MAHOPAC – It is said that a goalie can’t win a game.
And that’s true.
But Horace Greeley field hockey goalie Olivia Harris came as close to doing that and extending her squad’s season as was probably possible Thursday.
The junior stopped 25 of the 26 shots she faced against Mahopac.
But that one shot proved enormous as the No. 4-ranked, host Indians edged the No. 5 Quakers 1-0 to advance to Saturday’s Section 1 class A semifinals.
Mahopac, which will face No. 1 Mamaroneck, peppered Harris with 15 first-half shots but came away with nothing, as Harris did everything from a split to head-first dives to multiple slides to stop Mahopac shooters.
At one point, Mahopac’s junior varsity/volunteer assistant varsity coach, Jess McDonough, approached the scorer’s table to ask what year Harris was.
“She’s incredible,” McDonough said.
But so was Mahopac’s offensive pressure and, finally, with 28:11 left, Mahopac broke through.
Junior forward Mikaela DiBello, who’s sprinter-fast, rushed down the right side, losing defenders. She was finally stopped just before reaching Harris but the ball popped over to another Mahopac speed demon, Sarah Quarto, who put the ball on net. Harris made the save but a scramble ensued and DiBello was able to pop the ball over Harris and into the net.
On the other end of the field, Nicole Amerling was barely tested, although one of her three saves was large, occurring in the closing minutes when the Quakers were mounting offensive pressure.
One big reason for Greeley’s lack of production was Mahopac defenseman Emily Lavin, who coach Dona DiMaggio characterizes as the Indians’ “stealth bomber.”
Three times Lavin made one-handed steals to stop big rushes and, with three minutes left, stopped a hard Quaker shot.
“We played a little defensive hockey. We should have been attacking,” Greeley coach Sukhwinder Singh said, tracing the problem to early penalty calls that put his team down players.
DiMaggio said both teams were “frustrated” by some calls and non-calls but she was pleased with her team’s play, saying, “As frustrated as they were, they kept fighting and shooting and doing everything I asked them to do.”
Notes: Harris showed that she had more than a little Dominik Hasek in her. But her mom made sure early on that Harris’ dream of playing ice hockey remained just that. “My mom said it was too early to get up at 4 a.m. to play,” Harris noted. … Harris stopped a few breakaways, including on DiBello. Goalie has been Harris’ only position since she started playing field hockey in the seventh grade. She was drawn and remains drawn to “the rush of saving the ball.” Her coach, Sukhwinder Singh noted that she was named an AAU Junior Olympian out of 450 kids, based on her summer tournament play with Futures, the national field hockey feeder program. DiMaggio was certainly impressed. “I liked her style. She was aggressive and came out far,” she said, adding that the tall netminder also has a big “wing-span” that helps her game. … She was obviously less impressed with the officiating. While Sing thought early calls led to his young team (just two seniors and three juniors) play too defensively, DiMaggio said non-calls and made calls — which ranged from two minutes for crowding a free hit to five minutes for the same infraction (stiffer penalty for repeat offense) to five minutes for pushing — had an impact on the “flow of the game.”… The busy and very helpful scorekeeper’s table was full of the walking wounded. Included were Mahopac’s Lauren Colabattista and Alicja Kazmierowska and Greeley’s Avery Grossman. Grossman, a sophomore, missed the game with back issues. Colabattista, a junior, was out with a concussion that she suffered when kicked in the head during the Indians’ win over Brewster. Kazmierowska, also a junior, has missed the season after ACL surgery. She hurt her knee in a summer field hockey showcase.
Ursuline’s memorable season ends in loss to Arlington
It was a Cinderella story — save for the fact it was no fairy tale and the ending wasn’t entirely happy.
Ursuline’s incredible 12-win season came to a halt Thursday with a 2-0 loss to host Arlington in the Section 1 Class A quarterfinals.
No. 6 Ursuline, which just two years ago finished 1-14 and last year went 5-5-5, gave the No. 3 Admirals a run but couldn’t beat Arlington keeper Emily Zoltan, who had four saves. It also shot several balls wide of the cage.
“We played really hard, moving the ball up the field. We just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the cage and we kept finding the goalie’s pads,” Ursuline four-year coach Andrea Gaviria said.
Other offensive drives went by the wayside, with passes just missing connecting.
Arlington, which will play Scarsdale in Saturday’s semis, was led by it’s all-everything senior captain, Nichole Tolli, who put the Admirals on the board 22 minutes into the first half on a shot Gaviria said she’d never seen before.
Facing the net, Tolli put her right hand on the stick behind her back to take a shot from her left side, Gaviria said.
That and a second-half shot from Ali Dahnert were the only chances that beat Ursuline goalie Danielle Fucci, who had 12 saves.
“She deserves every bit of publicity. That was phenomenal,” Gaviria said of Tolli’s goal.
Gaviria also praised Fucci’s play, noting the sophomore and juniors Katie Leonard and Quinn Murphy just earned all-section honors. Leonard was also named all-state.
All told, the Koalas (12-3-3) outscored their opponents 63-14 this season, with Murphy notching 20 goals.
“Every game was a highlight for me,” said Gaviria, who added that returning all but four players next year she expects her team to again be a powerhouse.
“We lost in the first round last year and the quarters this year. Hopefully, we’ll be in the semifinals next year,” she said.
Mamaroneck 7, Clarkstown South 0
In the Section 1 Class A quarterfinal at Mamaroneck, twins Ellie and Karen Seid each had two goals and one assist to pace the No. 1 Tigers.
Kimi Chiapparelli, Lizzie Clarke and Sydney Segal also scored and Chiapparelli, Georgia Ellis and Grace Fitzgerald had assists.
Sarah Donnelly (18), Emily Pearsen (11) and Bridget Geyer (3) combined to make 32 saves for the No. 9 Vikings. Mamaroneck hosts No. 4 Mahopac Saturday in the semifinals.
Class C semifinals
No. 4 Pawling at No. 1 Bronxville, 1 p.m.
No. 3 Rye Neck at No. 2. North Salem, 3 p.m.
Class B semifinals
No. 6 Nyack at No. 2 Rye, 4 p.m.
No. 4 Pearl River at No. 1 Lakeland, 4:30 p.m.