By Benito Vila
So far this fall, the Pierson varsity field hockey team has had a nice run in rolling up a 7-3 division record. The only blemishes on the season have been two losses to Miller Place and another to Shoreham-Wading River.
Today, the Lady Whalers set off for Shoreham to avenge a 2-0 defeat in Mashashimuet Park last Tuesday. That game saw Pierson repeatedly turned away in front of the Lady Wildcats’ goal while the undefeated league leaders countered and made good early on in each half.
Looking ahead to the rematch, Pierson coach Shannon Judge said, “It’s one we all want to win. We know how they play. We know what we have to do. It comes down to our keeping the ball under control and limiting their chances.”
In their last seven games the Lady Whalers have outscored their opponents 23-6, tallying a remarkable 23-2 advantage in the five wins over that span. Even in the 2-0 loss to Miller Place in the park last Thursday, Coach Judge found little to criticize about how her team played.
In fact in describing that game, she came away feeling, “We played great. We just didn’t score. They didn’t dominate us; they had a long shot go in and they pushed in a rebound. They’re a good team and those are all the breaks they got.”
The other two games this week saw the Lady Whalers blank Hampton Bays 5-0 on the road last Wednesday and finish off Southampton by the same score in the park Tuesday. Both matches were played mainly on the opposition’s end, the Lady Baymen goalie recording 39 saves and the Lady Mariners’ 12.
In Wednesday’s win, Sophie Gianis and Alexa Lantiere each had a pair of goals with Sariah Cafiero adding in another. Lilah Yardley and Aly Bori each posted assists. On Tuesday, Lindsay Warne had two goals and two assists with Yardley, Abby Gawronski and Sarah Barrett banging in a goal apiece.
Insights and More
Coach Judge made a slight adjustment to her line-up in setting up her attack against Southampton Tuesday after Thursday’s loss to Miller Place. She moved Warne from center forward to right mid-field and was pleased by the result, praising “the controlled passing game as the best we’ve played as a team all season.”
“Pairing Lindsay and Alexa with Aly in the middle makes us more solid there, especially with the way Aly can change the field. Having Sariah at right forward with her speed helps us better organize our attack. And Abby’s been great in coming up and getting the ball in.”
Besides today’s match at Shoreham, this week the team has contests scheduled at Riverhead Monday and against East Hampton in the park next Thursday. The 4:30 p.m. match with the Lady Bonackers is the Lady Whalers’ traditional “senior’s day”, an event held on the last home date of the season.
The girls close out their regular season at Rocky Point, Tuesday, October 27.
Looking to the post-season, the Lady Whalers are currently ranked fourth in the division, a match-up with third-ranked Port Jefferson for the county Class C title likely to occur at Patchogue-Medford on Saturday, November 7.