Two went home.
Section 1 will have only one field hockey team in the state semifinals this year.
But it could so easily have been three.
Lakeland, winner of four straight state championships, will continue its quest for a fifth, taking on Section 4’s Vestal Saturday in the state Class B semis in Syracuse. If it wins, it will play there in Sunday’s final. Monday is built into the schedule as the weather (snow, of course, since it’s Syracuse and it’s November) cushion.
Lakeland opened yesterday’s regional play at White Plains High School.
This was before Pawling—a team that really showed the heart of a Tiger, dealing with off-field tragedy the past couple of weeks—saw its season end in a double-overtime loss to Pierson-Bridgehampton.
That game delayed Mamaroneck’s game and, thus, as it turned out, extended Mamaroneck’s season just a little.
Mamaroneck fell 3-2 Sachem East, a team that now has won 49 straight games.
But while it came up one goal short, it didn’t come up short in class.
The Tigers and their coach, John Savage, could have claimed they were robbed. They were, after all, denied a goal that should have counted early in the game. Amanda Prenty scored to put the Tigers up 1-0 but it didn’t count. A ref prematurely ruled a ball had first touched a Sachem East foot. Instead of the goal, Mamaroneck was awarded a penalty corner and didn’t score off it.
Coaches from other Section 1 teams, who were watching the action, all agreed the goal should have counted. Play should continue until a change of possession. And, in fact, it did. The ball went in not because Sachem East stopped playing but because it simply couldn’t stop Prenty’s shot.
But after the game, neither the senior Prenty—who fought back tears over the Tigers’ loss and her time on the team ending—nor Savage—who gathered his team in a circle, had it hold hands and told his players he was quoting from a song in an old movie when he said, “I had the time of my life”—would get into blaming the ref.
Sure, it was a missed call. Savage said he told the ref he had to “hold his whistle.” But he also said, ”I thought the referees did a great job.”
Mamaroneck, which dominated the first half but found itself losing 1-0 at halftime, had other chances to score but simply did not, he said.
And so Mamaroneck, which, in taking one of the best teams in the state to the wire, showed it’s also one of the best teams in the state, left a loser on the score board but only on the score board.
Below are my game write-ups from Mamaroneck’s and Lakeland’s games with a few extra notes.
Sachem East 3, Mamaroneck 2
In a sense, it came down to one, disallowed goal.
But following its 3-2 loss to Sachem East in Saturday’s Class A regional semifinal, the Mamaroneck field hockey team wasn’t focused on that.
Senior Amanda Prenty, who scored that goal, which, if allowed, would have given the Tigers a 1-0 first-half lead, said, “I’m not going to look back at that and regret that at all. There were so many good things in this game.”
Indeed, there were for both sides.
Mamaroneck, which finishes the year 18-1-1, put up a huge fight against defending state champion Sachem East, which extended its winning streak to 49 games – 20 this season.
The Tigers dominated the first half. Prenty’s goal was called no goal because the ball struck a Sachem East foot before Prenty buried it.
But Mamaroneck coach John Savage, who noted the ball shouldn’t have been whistled dead since Mamaroneck maintained possession, wouldn’t blame the loss on the call and, in fact, praised the officiating.
He, instead, focused on his squad’s inability to convert first-half corners into goals and its inability to sometimes stick with Flaming Arrows All-American Katie Trombetta.
Trombetta set up Sachem East’s initial goal and scored its second.
With 7:38 left in the first half and the game scoreless after Prenty’s goal was called back, Trombetta rifled a pass from the sideline in front of the net. Goalie Caroline Jensen went down and deflected it. But the ball found Shelby Trentini and she tapped it in backdoor.
Greta Massey knotted the game at 1 with 22:38 left in the game off a scramble in front off a broken corner. Massey popped the ball up, out of the reach of Arrows’ keeper Desteny Holder (eight saves). Sydney Segal got the assist.
The Flaming Arrows’ go-ahead goal came with 17:15 left, when Jensen made a great right-foot, split save but the ball caromed to Trombetta on Jensen’s left post and Trombetta put it home.
Sachem’s East third goal was similar, with Jensen making a split save but the ball rebounding to Cara Trombetta, who knocked it in.
Mamaroneck, which was dominated for long stretches during the second half, came back with Gracie Fitzgerald scoring unassisted on a reverse shot with 4:02 left.
But, with Holder making two big saves in tight with just over three minutes left, Sachem East held on.
“I was just using my instincts. I refuse to lose,” Holder said.
Of Sachem East’s scoring, Savage said, “A couple of balls bounced their way and they finished it.”
“The goals that went in were tipped in. They were great goals,” said Jensen, who’ll play for Holy Cross next year.
Notes: Prenty’s non-goal goal came with 22:58 left in the first half. … Prenty, who hopes to play in college, said of her team’s play, “It was a great game. I think we performed out there.” … ”We came out with full intensity,” Massey said. … Massey noted she beat two Flaming Arrow players to the ball on her goal, which she swept in at the post. She said the Tigers had practiced sweeping the ball into the goal for months. … Mamaroneck had 12 corners and Sachem East had nine. … Savage looked at the game as representing the good and bad of field hockey. “You can dominate and walk away with zero and get one opportunity and put it in. You’ve got to live with that. It changes the whole complexion of the game.” … In talking with his players, Savage termed the Tigers’ season a ”fantastic ride.” … Jensen said she’ll remember her squad’s “family dynamic—how we look out for each other and are all friends.”
Lakeland 3, Garden City 0
The streak will end.
But not Saturday.
The Lakeland field hockey team, which hasn’t lost a game to a New York opponent in five years, kept both that streak and its hopes of winning a fifth consecutive state championship alive Saturday, blanking Section 8’s Garden City 3-0 in the Class B regional final.
The win means Lakeland will play Section 4’s Vestal (which topped Section 9 Rondout Valley 3-0) in the state B semifinals next Saturday in Syracuse.
Garden City played small-ball, as Lakeland coach Sharon Sarsen predicted, with sophomore forward Michaela Bruno repeatedly applying pressure.
But with the exception of a couple of instances, when Lakeland keeper Alex Halpin aggressively came out to stop Garden City rushes, the Trojans were unable to penetrate Lakeland’s swarming defense.
“They’re a great team. They always have their stick down,” Bruno said.
“We were able to get things going but they always had another line of defense right there,” added Garden City coach Diane Chapman, who praised Halpin’s “great, sliding tackles.”
Lakeland dominated 8-4 in corners and that proved large.
“Our goal was to limit them to five corners or less,” Sarsen said, describing the Trojans’ corner shooting as “lethal.”
As it turned out, Lakeland’s corners were lethal.
Sophomore Dana Bozek, who played a huge role defensively with several steals, was also the driving force offensively, scoring twice off corners and Gab Celentano feeds.
The first – an absolute missile, whizzed past Trojans’ keeper Sabrina Milone, who, like Halpin, had four saves.
That came with 25:56 left in the first half.
Lakeland almost made it 2-0 in the first four minutes of the second half but Molly Fitzpatrick just missed connecting on a pass to Steph Scala, who slid on her knees at the left post to try to reach it.
Halpin then made a sliding stop as Bruno got behind Lakleand’s D.
Lakeland gained a two-goal edge when Scala feathered a beautiful lead pass between defenders to Fitzpatrick, who beat Milone in close with 20:40 to play.
Bozek’s second score came with 5:25 left.
Lakeland senior defenseman Kim Monteferante, who stripped the ball from several Trojans, credited Lakeland’s success to the fact, “There is no one stand-out player. You can take away one player and we have someone else to step in.”
Of the Hornets’ year-after-year success, Bozek, whose sisters, Megan and Emma, played for Lakeland, said, “I think everyone who is part of the program has the desire to be the best they can be. Everyone wants to step up.”
Notes: Bruno’s play came as no surprise to Sarsen. She comes up from Long Island to play for Sarsen’s Hudson Valley indoor, Premier League team in the off-season . … Bruno noted that her team’s seniors were particularly upset with the loss but she said, I think we gave it our all and played our hearts out. We did everything we could.” … Besides limiting Garden City’s corners, Sarsen said her team wanted to shut down Bruno and senior midfielder Tara DeAngelo. … In part, Lakeland tried to keep play on the right side of the field, figuring the Trojans were stronger on the left. … Bozek played a whale of a game for Lakeland but that’s nothing new. “She just stands out. She makes plays. She’s so smart… I’m lucky to have her but I’m lucky to have a lot of thse kids,” Sarsen said. … Bozek figures she was in first grade when she was pulled into Sarsen’s field hockey camp in which her older sisters were participating. Those sisters haven’t done badly in the sport. Megan is a senior at the University of New Hampshire. Her team defeated Albany 3-2 yesterday to win the America East tournament championship. Megan scored and was named the tournament’s MVP. Emma is on the U.S. Under-21 national team and is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina. Emma stole the ball to set up the winning goal in UNC’s 1-0 win over Syracuse in the ACC semifinals Friday. Today, her squad battles for the ACC crown vs. Maryland. Not a bad weekend for the Bozek family. … Lakeland’s game against Vestal Saturday will be at 9:30 a.m. at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.