Or, in this case, six.
Yesterday, No. 1-seed Mamaroneck and No. 2 Scarsdale qualified for Tuesday’s Section 1 Class A finals. At 7:30 p.m., they’ll be the final game of three played Tuesday at Brewster High, the earlier games seeing No. 2 Rye face off against No. 1 Lakeland for the B crown at 3:30 and No. 4 Pawling take on No. 2 North Salem at 5:30 for the C crown.
And so Pawling, 10-6-1, is the only non-top-two team vying for a title.
Yesterday, Mamaroneck blew open a tight game in the second half to win going away over No. 4 Mahopac 5-0.
This will be the 10th straight section finals for the Tigers, who have won six of nine and who have yet to lose this season.
Scarsdale, whose only two losses this year were to Mamaroneck (4-1, then 1-0), topped Dutchess County powerhouse Arlington 4-3. It was a game more people should have witnessed. Like the weather—sun to rain and, at point, the two together—the game featured a little bit of everything. The everything included wide open play with big drives and passes to surgical-precision stickwork, to players who seemed to have extra gears, to terrific, sprawling saves.
Below is Chris Iseman’s account of the Mamaroneck-Mahopac game and my report on Arlington-Scarsdale.
Today, I will be at Manhattanville College for the 12 p.m. game between No. 3 Hackley and No. 1 Rye Country Day for the New York State Association of Independent Schools championship.
Mamaroneck 5, Mahopac 0
MAMARONECK - It took two minutes and three goals for Mamaroneck to turn a tight defensive field hockey battle with Mahopac into a convincing victory. Once momentum swung toward the Tigers, they never let it go.
A second-half scoring barrage lifted No. 1 Mamaroneck to a 5-0 win over the No. 4 Indians in the Class A semifinals on Saturday, sending the Tigers into the finals with a chance to avenge their double-overtime loss to Suffern in last season’s section final.
“It’s hard at first when you play a very tough, talented team like Mahopac is, you have to adjust to the way that they are and their players,” Tigers assistant coach Tricia Miller said. “It just took a little while to adjust.”
Tigers head coach John Savage wasn’t there to see the eventual outcome. Savage left toward the end of the second half after he received a phone call telling him his daughter was about to give birth.
Mamaroneck scored its first goal just over eight minutes into the game, when Lizzie Clarke took a feed from Karen Seid and snuck the ball past Mahopac goalie Nicole Amerling for the 1-0 lead.
Indians head coach Dona Dimaggio said she told her team at halftime it needed to attack and take shots. But Mahopac couldn’t find sufficient opportunities.
The Indians finished with only one shot, and Mamaroneck goalie Caroline Jensen never needed to make a save.
“We did what we can. We played one of the better teams from Section 1,” Dimaggio said. “They came out ready to play today. We just were out of step.”
Kimi Chiapparelli scored unassisted at the 18:29 mark of the second half. But 10 minutes later, Mamaroneck pulled away for good.
Gracie Fitzgerald fed Seid for a goal at 9:22 to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. A minute later, Seid scored on an assist from her twin Ellie Seid, and about 37 seconds later, Ellie found the back of the cage on a feed from Fitzgerald.
“We made sure we were first at every ball,” Ellie Seid said. “We stepped up and we used our speed and really finished in the circle.”
Injury-riddled Mahopac arrived at to Mamaroneck with only three substitutes, a difficult challenge to overcome against the quick Tigers. Dimaggio didn’t have many fresh legs to turn to, and after battling with Mamaroneck for much of the game, the Indians couldn’t hold off the Tigers any more.
While Amerling finished with 12 saves, Mamaroneck’s quick three scores gave it a decisive win.
“We were disappointed last year when we got knocked out,” Miller said. “I think these girls are very happy, and they’re proud to be here and make it there again. We’re hoping to do a good job and finish this year.”
Scarsdale 4, Arlington 3
SCARSDALE – It was three years ago that Scarsdale lost the Section 1 Class A finals to Mamaroneck.
On Tuesday, the Raiders will get the chance to write a happier ending against top-seed Mamaroneck.
Paced by Lindsey Repp’s hat trick, No. 2 Scarsdale wrote its ticket to the finals Saturday by holding on to defeat No. 3 Arlington 4-3.
Scarsdale trailed early – when Jordan Ballantyne scored off an Emily Kaminsky feed with 23:52 left in the first half.
But Repp evened things at 20:13, diving head-first to knock the ball past Arlington keeper Emily Zoltan (pictured making save as Scarsdale crashes net), who kept her squad in the game with 17 saves – many times stopping second and third chances as the Raiders crashed her net.
Repp’s goal, with an assist to Erin Nicholas, came off a penalty corner.
And corners played a big role in the game, with Scarsdale awarded 17 and Arlington four.
Repp’s second goal came with 16:50 left in the half as she lifted the ball past Zoltan to give Scarsdale a lead it never relinquished. Nicholas again got the assist.
Repp scored again with 7:10 left (Sarah Mehlman assist) to give Scarsdale a 3-1 halftime lead.
But it seemed like only a matter of time before Arlington’s Nichole Tolli got on the board.
Repp credited head coach, Sharon Rosenthal, and assistant Genette Zonghetti with coming up with a game plan to contain Tolli and credited defenders Olivia Romano, Julia Ross and Michaela Nicholas with executing it.
But Tolli, whose speed and skills stood out, rifled a shot off a corner past keeper Leah Cannon with 15:50 left in the game to cut the Raider lead to 3-2.
“She’s so outstanding. She’s just an exceptional, exceptional field hockey player,” Rosenthal said, crediting Tolli and junior attackman Lauren Fazio with keeping the pressure on Scarsdale.
The teams traded goals (Michaela Nicholas at 13:04 and Arlington’s Allison Hopper off a corner at 7:10) before Cannon made her fifth save of the game her biggest – stopping a Tolli bullet-drive with fewer than three minutes left.
“They played with just so much heart and determination,” Rosenthal said of her 17-2 team, whose only losses have been to Mamaroneck. “They worked really hard to beat them to the ball, see open space and win the one-on-one battles.”
Notes: Arlington coach Stephanie Tito, who was a diplomatic no-comment on the corners differential, said of Scarsdale, “They did a really nice job backing each other up and supporting each other.” … Scarsdale had chance after chance off its corners with the Admirals often unable to clear. ’They kind of formed a circle around us. They were just like all coming at us at once,” Zoltag said. … With Arlington pressing, Rosenthal called timeout with 4;28 to go. ”My rule is the first five and the last five (minutes) are the most important parts of any game,” she said, noting the break was designed both to give her kids a “little breather” and to talk a “little strategy.”… Caroline Knapp scored for the Raiders to give them an apparent two-goal lead with just over a minute to play but the tally was disallowed, one of the refs ruling she hit the ball from outside the circle and it wasn’t touched en route to finding the back of the net. Knapp, who, post-game, didn’t appear paricularly upset, still disagreed, saying she’d made sure the ball was inside the circle and she was going to watch videotape to confirm that. … A few almosts will probably haunt Arlington. Included was an outstanding, late-game passing sequence. Tolli fed Fazio on the right side, then headed to the net. Fazio threw a long, near-perfect lead pass back across the field. But the emphasis is on “near.” It was just out of the reach of the sprinting Tolli, who dove for it, and just out of the reach of a Ali Dahnert, who was sprinting to the left post. … Right before the first half ended, Olivia Romano made a potential goal-saving play. With Rosenthal screaming for her to get back on an Arlington odd-man rush, she turned and went into full gallop and, stretching, just deflected a pass headed for a wide open Rachel Smoller, who, sprinting, was only steps from the goal. … With Arlington down one player for two minutes at one point in the first half, Nina Pettinella made successive nice plays, first stopping a corner shot, then making a steal. … Tolli, who’s heading to Sacred Heart, played with not only talent but a never-give-up attitude. At one point, Erin Nicholas stole the ball from her. A split second later, Tolli had not only stopped and reversed her ground but had grabbed it back. … Romano’s big drive out of Scarsdale’s defensive zone ended Arlington’s last push to tie the game and then the celebration (pictured in part above) was on . … Of playing Mamaroneck, Repp said, “Finishing (our shots) like we did today is key.” … 1999—the last time Scarsdale won a Section 1 championship—may not seem all that long ago until the birth certificate dates of the current Raiders are considered. …