Revenge is an ancient and much described topic in literature. In the Iliad, Homer describes revenge as “sweeter than honey” and in Don Juan, Lord Byron insists, “Sweet is revenge–especially to women.”
While those notions may or may not be true, the fact is this year’s Pierson girls’ varsity field hockey team is looking to beat their Port Jefferson counterparts in next week’s Class C county championship. Last year, the Lady Royals overcame the Lady Whalers 1-0 in overtime to take the title and bring a sudden end to a 14-2 regular season, the best mark in the Pierson program’s 35-year history.
The title rematch was made possible by another year of solid play by seniors Aly Bori, Abby Gawronski, Nicole Dorego, Ana Winchell and goalie Christy Deery. Supporting them have been the team’s underclassmen, juniors Sarah Barrett, Alexa Lantiere, Sam James, Lindsay Warne and Jessica Warne, sophomores Sariah Cafiero and Lilah Yardley and eighth grader Kacey Gilbride.
Together, the Lady Whalers have developed a strong passing game built on speed and good on-field communication. The defensive backfield of Gilbride, James, Winchell and Jessica Warne has been successful in consistently clearing the ball up to the midfield and beyond.
Wins over East Hampton Thursday and Rocky Point Tuesday closed out the Lady Whalers season at 10-4. Against the Lady Bonackers in their last home game, Bori led Dorego with a pass into the circle, Dorego rolling the ball into the back of the box for the only goal of the match.
Lady Whaler coach Shannon Judge noted afterwards, “We seemed scattered on the field in terms of offensive transition and could not seem to make any decent plays while in our offensive circle. It was our senior game, we had a lot going on, team party, senior announcements and all, and I think that worked against us. The girls were just playing defense after we scored.”
Points were hard to come on the road Tuesday as well against the Lady Eagles, the match 0-0 at the end of regulation and remaining scoreless after two overtime periods. That set up a stroke shoot-out which Pierson dominated, Barrett, Gilbride and Lindsay Warne all firing in shots for a 3-0 final.
Yesterday Shannon Judge described the outcoming, saying, “We had a consistent effort throughout the game. Rocky Point is a physically aggressive team with a hit and run style. It is challenging to play field hockey well against a team like this, but our girls managed to do a great job.”
“We were consistent on our offensive pressure, but still did not mange to convert our 16 corners and multiple breakaways into any goals. We dominated overtime, but again, we had no goals.”
“I had a strong feeling that the game would go to overtime and strokes so for the two practices beforehand we played seven-on-seven and did a ton of strokes. It paid off for us offensively and defensively. Christy Deery saved the three shots that were taken, Sarah started the stroke run, followed by Lindsay and Kasey finished with a low shot to the left corner.
“Credit needs to go to Christy who had a phenomenal game with six saves, an number of them being one-on-one fast breaks. She aggressively came out of our defending 16-yard circle to clear the ball and stop the fastbreak.”
In re-capping the season, Coach Judge added, “We finished the season third in our division which is a huge feat for a Class C school. We are the only Division III team to finish in the top six, playing mainly Class A and B teams.”