By Gavin Menu
It’s playoff time in high school sports and the Pierson-Bridgehampton Whalers are hoping to make their presence felt across Suffolk County and beyond.
Four local teams will compete for county championships starting tonight, October 31, with the Lady Whalers field hockey team facing rival Southampton at the Dowling Sports Complex in Shirley at 6:30 p.m. The game is a rematch from last year’s Class C title game, which Southampton won, 2-0.
The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls volleyball team will begin its quest for a Class D championship with an outbracket game at Stony Brook tomorrow, November 1, at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to play top-seeded Shelter Island at Patchogue-Medford High School on Monday at 5 p.m.
Both the boys and girls cross county teams will compete tomorrow, November 1, and the Lady Whalers have a chance to claim a Class D banner at Sunken Meadow State Park. The Class C and D teams will run together starting at 3:50 p.m.
And finally, the Pierson-Bridgehampton boys soccer team, which is coming off an undefeated League VIII Championship, will play in the Suffolk Class C final on Saturday, November 2, against Southold at Diamond in the Pines Park in Coram at 2:30 p.m.
Lady Whalers Look To Reverse Last Year’s Result
The Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team is coming off one of its most successful regular seasons in recent memory with a 10-4 record in Division III play. They are the top-ranked Class C school in the county and will face the second-seeded Lady Mariners, who knocked off Greenport-Southold, 5-1, to open the playoffs on Monday.
“We are looking forward to playing Southampton,” said head coach Shannon Judge, whose Lady Whalers are riding a five-game winning streak into the playoffs. “We finished off the second half of our season very strong and are looking to continue the momentum through the postseason.”
Leading the way for Pierson is senior Kasey Gilbride, whose 21 goals are tied for the most in Suffolk County. Katherine Matthers, Emme Luck, Kirra McGowin and India Hemby make up a strong senior class that has led the team all season.
The winner of tonight’s Class C final will advance to play in a non-elimination game for the Small Schools Championship against the Class B qualifier at Dowling on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Class C playoffs will resume Wednesday, November 6 with the Long Island Championship game, also at Dowling, at 6 p.m.
The Class C winner from Long Island will advance to a regional final at White Plains High School on November 9 at 1 p.m., with the New York State Final Four held the following weekend, November 16-17, at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Familiar Opponent for Boys Soccer
The Pierson-Bridgehampton boys soccer team will face Southold for the third time this season, having beaten the Settlers twice by one-goal margins. The Whalers completed the League VIII season with a 9-0-1 record.
Pierson is led by the three-headed scoring threat of Jack Fitzpatrick, Forrest Loesch and Drew Harvey, all who finished in the top-20 in individual points in Suffolk County. Fitzpatrick has scored a team-high 18 goals this season and Harvey has contributed 13 goals and 9 assists. Loesch, the team’s workhorse from the midfield, has 10 goals and 9 assists.
The winner of Saturday’s Suffolk final will advance to the Long Island Championship game on Tuesday, November 5 at a site and time still to be determined. The winner there will play a regional final on November 9, with the state final four at Middletown High School on the weekend of November 16-17.
Back to Stony Brook for Lady Whalers Volleyball
The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls volleyball team on Friday lost 3-1 to Stony Brook in the League VIII season finale to drop into third place at 8-4 behind Stony Brook (9-3) and undefeated Shelter Island. As a result of the win, Stony Brook earned a home playoff game against the Lady Whalers this Friday at 5 p.m.
The winner will advance to play Shelter Island for the Suffolk Class D Championship on Monday, November 4 at Patchogue-Medford High School at 6 p.m.
Against Stony Brook on Friday, senior May Evjen led the team with 45 digs, 15 serves and 12 assists. Libero Morgan Vaughn had 41 digs and Bridget Canavan had 34. Lily Kunzeman, Tatyana Dawson and Shannon Keane combined for 31 kills to lead the Lady Whalers at the net.
Could be Close at Sunken Meadow
Jim Kinnier, who coaches the Pierson girls cross country team, said the Suffolk Class D Championship could come down to a single runner coming through with a special performance in the county race tomorrow, November 1, at Sunken Meadow State Park.
The Lady Whalers are led by senior Elena Skerys and feature Maya Buckner, Hannah Jungck, Arlena Burns, Paola Zeas and Rose O’Donoghue. Pierson lost to Stony Brook, the Class D favorite, by just one point earlier this year, meaning that if one runner can improve their finish from that meeting, the Lady Whalers could come away with a win.