By Gavin Menu
Sam Duchemin is no stranger to pressure. The ace pitcher of the Pierson-Bridgehampton softball team is now the goalie for the school’s storied field hockey program, and she passed her first test with flying colors.
The Lady Whalers went on the road on Monday and knocked off Bayport-Blue Point, 5-1, to kick off the new season. Duchemin was solid in goal and made five saves before being replaced by Sheila Mackey in the second half.
Senior Kasey Gilbride picked up her dominant pace from last year and scored three goals with an assist in the game, while Emme Luck had two goals and an assist. Playing left forward, freshman Allura Leggard chipped in with two assists to help lead the Lady Whalers’ attack.
Bayport scored its lone goal off a corner with 1:11 remaining and the game firmly under Pierson’s control.
“Overall our offense looks very good,” head coach Shannon Judge said. “We have speed with Emme and Kasey and Katherine Matthers controls the entire field and always creates scoring opportunities.”
Judge said the team had seven other scoring chances where they could have finished with goals. “So converting missed shots into goals or deflections is what we’re working on,” she added.
Senior India Hemby moved from forward to the midfield and played well in the game, as did Erica Selyukova, who is a sophomore. The team was missing midfielder Ana Sherwood, a freshman who excelled last season while in eighth grade, but who is currently injured. Judge said she would likely return this week.
“She will add to our defense and is a scoring threat as well,” Judge said. “She also flies on corner defense, which is an extremely important position, so it will be nice to have her back.”
Defensively, the Lady Whalers were led by Cali Cafiero, Kirra McGowin, Emma Romeo and Rachael Miller.
Pierson is scheduled to play four road games in a row starting with a match on Monday at Miller Place at 4:30 p.m. Included in that stretch is a game at East Hampton on September 20 at 4 p.m.
The team’s first home game will, appropriately, be on homecoming on September 28 against Port Jefferson at noon.