By Andrew Rudansky
The girls’ varsity field hockey team is now in front of a four game winning streak after beating the Miller Place Panthers (6-4) on Monday, October 17. In this late season push, the Lady Whalers have bowled over the competition, outscoring their opponents 12-1 in the last four games.
The Pierson/Bridgehampton team is currently in fifth place in the Division III standings, just on the cusp of the top six teams that will make it into the post-season.
“We are in a very good position right now,” said varsity Head Coach Shannon Judge.
Judge said that the Whaler’s success can be attributed to senior goalie Catherine Musnicki, who has been a presence in the net and is responsible for three shutouts in the last four games.
Judge said that in addition to Musnicki, sophomore defenders Casey Gilbride and Katherine Matthers have been stand outs on the team all season.
“Matthers and Gilbride are both very dominant on the field together,” said Judge, who credits their playing with energizing the team in recent weeks.
In the 1-0 win against the Port Jefferson Lady Royals (1-9) on Saturday, October 15, Pierson’s senior Sariah Cafiero scored the game’s only goal.
While in Monday’s 2-1 win against the Miller Place Panthers (6-4), Pierson came out of a 0-1 deficit, thanks to two second half goals by Gilbride and Cafiero.
The end of the season is nothing short of a meat grinder for the surging Lady Whalers. Today, October 20 they have a home game against Hampton Bays (1-8-0). After that they travel to second place Shoreham Wading River (9-1-0) on Friday, October 21.
Then the Lady Whalers head to first place Rocky Point (9-1-0) on Monday, October 24. The Whalers last home game is on Wednesday, October 26 against a dangerous Riverhead team (4-5) looking for a playoff spot of their own.
Judge said that losses to Shoreham Wading River or Rocky Point wouldn’t seriously affect the Whaler’s playoff hopes; however a loss to either Riverhead or Hampton Bays could possibly knock them out of the top six.
“The last game against Riverhead is the most important game of the season for us,” said Judge, “if we lost to Riverhead that would hurt us a lot.”
Assuming the Whalers can hold on to a top-six seed, they would get a shot to play Division II Babylon for the Class C Suffolk County Championships.
Judge said that she was confident her team would make it not only to the Suffolk County Championships, but also make an appearance at the Class C New York State Finals for the second year in a row.