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Pierson Field Hockey Will Wait on Post Season Call

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By Gavin Menu

The postseason fate of the Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team this week was in the hands of Section XI, Suffolk County’s governing body of athletics, after the Whalers failed to finish in the top six of the Division III standings following two losses to top-ranked teams to end the regular season.

The Lady Whalers had a narrow hold on sixth place following a 3-0 loss to undefeated, division-leader Miller Place at home on Saturday, but a 2-1 loss to Rocky Point on the road Tuesday night dropped Pierson into seventh place with an 8-4 record behind Comsewogue, which picked up a big 1-0 win over third place Shoreham-Wading River on Tuesday.

Miller Place, Rocky Point, Shoreham, Southampton, Riverhead and Comsewogue will automatically qualify for the playoffs, either in Class A, B or C, because of their top-six finish. Rankings in the division are determined by power points, and Pierson’s total of 109.990 fell just short. The power rankings take into account things like strength of schedule, quality wins against higher ranked teams as well as unexpected losses against lower ranked teams.

Head coach Shannon Judge on Wednesday said she would petition the Section XI Seeding Committee for a playoff exemption and an opportunity to play rival Southampton for the Suffolk County Class C Championship on Tuesday, November 6 at Ward Melville High School. She said the ruling would come down tomorrow, October 26. If the Whalers are denied, Southampton would automatically become county champion.

“Because of the power ratings, petitions don’t usually go through,” Judge said on Wednesday. “But we beat Riverhead, we beat Southampton once and we beat Rocky Point once. We actually have a better record than Southampton.”

The Lady Whalers this season also beat the county’s only other Class C schools in Port Jefferson and Babylon, which both finished out of the top six in their divisions. Those wins coupled with Pierson’s split with Southampton, which finished 7-7 in division play, gives the Lady Whalers a 4-1 record against fellow Class C schools this year.

If the season does indeed come to an end, the Whalers would lose only one senior, Rachel Saidman to graduation. A strong junior class including Kasey Gilbride, Katherine Matthers, Emme Luck, India Hemby, Kirra McGowin and Emma Romeo would all return. Gilbride, in particular, has had a standout season and finished the regular season with the second highest individual scoring total on Long Island with 27 points on 20 goals and seven assists.

“I’m optimistic about the future,” Judge said, hoping that future includes a championship game against Southampton next month.

Sports Wrap 9/20/12

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Lady Whalers Notch Two Big Wins

Kasey Gilbride scored a game-winning goal in overtime late on Wednesday to send the Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team to a dramatic 1-0 win over visiting Southampton. Gilbride’s goal came as the teams played in a 7-on-7 format, which is much more suitable to the Pierson star’s quick style of play.

It was the second big victory in a week for Pierson, which also picked up an important non-league victory last Wednesday, September 12, with a 4-1 win over Babylon at Mashashimuet Park.

Eighth grader Ana Sherwood scored two goals to lead the Lady Whalers, who improved to 4-0 with the two wins. Gilbride scored a goal and two assists against Babylon. Allura Leggard also scored for the Lady Whalers and junior Emma Romeo, who is a first-year starter in goal, made three saves in the game.

Lady Whalers head coach Shannon Judge scheduled the game with Babylon, which is a fellow Class C school that plays in Division II, so that a victory could be used to lobby for a playoff spot at the end of the season should Pierson-Bridgehampton not finish in the top-six teams in Division II, which is comprised of Class A, B and C schools.

The top six teams from each division automatically qualify for the playoffs, but teams can be offered an exemption if they do well against schools of similar classification.

The Lady Whalers will play two road games this week, at William Floyd tomorrow, September 21, and then at Shoreham-Wading River on Monday. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m.


Whalers Soccer Wins League Opener

Forrest Loesch was tired, his jersey covered in dirt as he walked off the soccer field at Mashashimuet Park last Thursday evening. Pierson-Bridgehampton’s tireless striker was smiling, though, since his goal with 7:30 remaining gave the Whalers a 1-0 win over Smithtown Christian to kick off the League VIII schedule.

The Whalers last week were coming off an emotional win over Southampton in the Bridgehampton National Bank tournament, which concluded on Saturday with a series of games at Greenport High School. Center Moriches won the tournament with a perfect 3-0 mark, having beat the Whalers, 5-2, on Saturday.

Senior captain Christian Bautista scored against Center Moriches as did up-and-coming junior midfielder Alex Liro. The Whalers are scheduled to host rival Ross School on Monday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m.


Volleyball Off To Slow Start

The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls volleyball team lost in straight sets to Babylon at home on Friday. Pierson fell to 0-3 on this season with additional losses to Hampton Bays and Port Jefferson. The Lady Whalers will play at rival Shelter Island today at 4:15 p.m. and will host their next home match on Monday, September 24, against Stony Brook at 4:30 p.m.


Montauk Rugby Wins Again

The Montauk Rugby Football Club moved to 2-0 this past Saturday with a tight 17-14 victory over the Montclair Rugby Club. Montauk found themselves in an early seven-point hole but the Sharks answered with a Brian Anderson try and a Gordon Trotter conversion to even the score at 7-7.

In the second half Montauk’s offense stepped it up and tacked on two more scores coming from Nick Lawler and Connor Miller.


“C” Playoffs Assured


Lady Whaler Field Hockey web

By Andrew Rudansky

The Lady Whalers varsity field hockey team is officially back in the post-season after finishing a stellar (9-5) season. The Pierson/Bridgehampton team had their final game yesterday, October 26, a decisive 4-0 victory over the Riverhead Blue Waves (5-9).

The win was especially sweet for seniors keeper Catherine Musnicki, forward Sariah Cafiero, defender Melanie Stafford,  midfielder Lilah Yardley and forward Christina Napolillo. The victory was to be their last game playing on their home field at Mashashimuet Park.

Pictures of these seniors lined the path leading to the field hockey pitch, and head coach Shannon Judge gave each of the seniors a rose in honor of their last regular season game.

“Yes, we are going to miss a lot of them,” said Judge about the seniors after the game.

Earlier in the week, Judge called the Riverhead game the team’s most important game of the season, explaining the consequences of a loss could be dire for Pierson’s post-season hopes.

Fortunately Pierson was on fire all 60 minutes of the match. The first goal was scored by sophomore midfielder Emme Luck, with an assist by Cafiero. This was followed by a second goal by junior Bailey Brigs, assisted by Yardley, with only two minutes left in first half.

The rest of the game followed suit. Sophomore Kasey Gilbride scoring two minutes into the second half, off of a sophomore Katherine Matthers assist.

Cafiero scored the team’s fourth and final goal with seven minutes left to play in regulation, a long powerful shot from the right of the goalie box.

The Blue Waves on the other hand had few chances to score thanks to Pierson’s strong defensive unit, including Stafford, and sophomores Emma Romeo and Kirra McGowin.

Riverhead only recorded two shots on goal for the entire match.

Pierson was put into a tight situation shortly after their third goal when Gilbride received a yellow card, giving Riverhead a five minute power play. However it did not result in a goal.

The 4-0 victory, the Lady Whalers sixth shutout of the season, certainly gives them confidence going into the post season; especially after the two hard losses last week against second place Rocky Point (10-3) and first place Shoreham-Wading River (12-1).

Neither of these losses affected the post-season chances of the Lady Whalers because of the emphasis on “quality” wins and losses in Section XI Varsity field hockey.

Pierson had five shots on goal in the 1-0 loss to Shoreham-Wading River this Friday, October 21, but couldn’t find the net. Senior keeper Catherine Musnicki had nine saves in the game.

It was the same story in the game at Rocky Point, when none of the eight Pierson shots on goals went in. The final 1-0 score was controversial, because many of the Lady Whalers had stopped playing and were asking for an injury time-out when the Rocky Point goal was scored. Once again Musnicki tallied nine saves in game.

Musnicki has been a juggernaut in the net all season long, allowing only three goals in the last seven games in October.

She was credited with just one save in yesterday’s shut-out over Riverhead.

The team next takes on Division II Babylon in the Suffolk County Class C championship game at the Ward Mellville High School on Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. The Babylon Panthers finished in fourth place in Division II with an overall record of (9-5).

If the Lady Whalers were to beat the Panthers in the Class C championship they would move on to the B/C small schools championship game at Newfield High School on Thursday, November 10 at 7 p.m. From there it would be on to the Long Island Championships and finally States later in the month.

The Lady Whalers are very familiar with this post-season road, just last year going all the way to the state finals.

Judge said she doesn’t like to make predictions for her team in the post-season, however from the way the team dismantled their last regular season opponent, they look ready to go all the way this year.

Targeting Playoffs


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.

Pierson Field Hockey: It’s Shoreham Ahead

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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.”

Point Scorers

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.

End Comes Quick for Girls in Playoffs

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Stony brook ended Pierson\'s season in quadruple overtime

Last week the high school varsity girls volleyball, soccer and field hockey all had high hopes for the playoff season, preparing all week for last weekend’s games, only to be disappointed in the end for a loss for all three teams.


Perhaps the biggest upset of the weekend, was the varsity girls soccer game, where the girls went into quadruple over-time against Stony Brook at the Dowling Sports Complex. The girls had to appeal in order to get into the playoffs. But on Saturday they were up against Stony Brook, who they tied with last time they played the them, earlier this season.
Soccer coach, Haley Luzim said that the girls played excellent on Saturday. With only 1:48 remaining in the game, Pierson’s Katie Osieki scored, but after the girls started celebrating their victory, the referee took back the goal, calling an illegal handball. Luzim said the girls were very upset. The game then went into overtime, where neither team scored in the first two 10 – minute overtime periods and the third 5-minute extra period. They finally lost in the end when Stony Brook eventually scored, 108 minutes into the game. Goalie, Annie Osiecki had five saves on Saturday for Pierson.
The seniors that Luzim will be sad to see go will be Katie Osieki, Alicia Tagliasacchi and Diana Rodriquez.
For Luzim, she said the season started out slow, and the girls were able to develop and improve on their defense, communication and desire to win. In the off-season, she says the girls need to continue to work their ball skills. Luzim is planning to get the girls playing in an indoor soccer league this winter, which will help them with their ball skills and control. In addition, the girls may be attending a soccer camp as a team. This, according to Luzim, will help them build their skills and get in shape for next season.

Field Hockey

The girl’s varsity field hockey team also went into overtime on Saturday. They traveled to Patchogue-Medford where they were up against Port Jefferson. The first two halves of the game showed no score for either team and coach Shannon Judge said the team lost 2.5 minutes into overtime off a broken corner.
“After we lost, I told the girls, people expected nothing of us, and we came in fourth in our league,” Judge said.
She added that the team actually had the second best record in the league, but they come in fourth because of the power rating.
For next season, the girls will only have three starting positions to fill and coach Judge says she already has the kids that will step in to take those positions. This season was a good one for the team overall, Judge said. Her senior, Samantha Federico beat the school’s record of 13, by getting 16 goals this season. Judge said, another senior, Anna Verneuille, a captain and her tenacity as a defender will be missed. Other seniors Dina Silver and Mariah Marienfeld, played an excellent season according to Judge.


The varsity girl’s volleyball team shed tears on Friday night after their game in Center Moriches against Shelter Island. Stacey Springer, coach for the varsity team said the girls played really well the first match against their opponents, but lost all three games. “We have to work on mental toughness, the ability wasn’t always the issue,” she said. She added that the girls needed to have more confidence in themselves. She said now she is trying to get the team to push for clinics, clubs and doing more than just participating in the fall season. She adds that the defense, did a great job, but the offensive side needed to hit a little harder and a little more often, “I feel that’s where we lost some of our points, but, she said, “I’m happy they got to have that playoff experience this year.” Seniors that won’t be returning for Pierson volleyball next year are Danielle Schiavoni, Devan Larson, Brianna Hand, Veronica O’Malley and Luisa Kennefick.

Lady Whalers Have Reason to be Proud

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By Benito Vila

It’s hard to tell who was more delighted by the outcome of the Lady Whalers 3-1 win over Riverhead on Monday, Shannon Judge, the team’s current coach, or Debbie Jayne, who initiated the program and led Pierson to 15 county and regional titles over a 33-year career.

Reached just after sunset here on Monday, Coach Jayne had already been online in Arizona and knew the team had won for the fourteenth time this fall. “So I bet you’re calling me to see if 14-2 is the best record ever,” said the legendary coach. “I think it is. We were 12-5 overall the year we went to the state final in 1998 and 13-4-1 in 2003.”

Coach Judge is working on keeping her girls focused on what’s to come. A 4 p.m. November 1 Class C title game against Port Jefferson on the turf at Patchogue-Medford will likely be confirmed today or tomorrow. When it was suggested to Coach Judge that she might remember this team thirty years from now, she lightheartedly mused, “That’d be cool. 12-2 in league and 14-2 overall; they’re worthy.”

Both coaches acknowledged speaking recently, Coach Judge reporting, “Debbie said to keep what we’re doing.” Coach Jayne had no advice to give Monday, recognizing “Every team is different and it’s easy to see Shannon has a good sense of the pulse of this one. There are a lot of field hockey alumni rooting for them. And we’re all very proud.”

Coach Judge plans on “practicing a lot, getting some conditioning in and working on things that we need to do better.” She will also be looking to get workout time on local turf fields so that the team becomes more accustomed to that surface, which is common amongst tournament sites.


The Last Two Wins

Win number 13 came at the expense of William Floyd in Mashashimuet Park last Thursday, the season’s final home match concluding as a 2-0 shutout. A pre-game ceremony saw senior captains Samanthe Federico, Mariah Marienfeld and Anna Verneuille and classmates Megan Pintauro and Dena Silver honored.

Despite the fanfare, it was the underclassmen that came away with the points. Sophomore Lindsay Warne put Pierson up 1-0 in the first half and her classmate Sarah Barrett scored in the second half. Junior Nicole Dorego and sophomore Alexa Lantiere recorded the assists.

Coach Judge described the win as, “Nothing too exciting. We moved the ball up and down as a unit. We worked well together and kept them from creating opportunities.”

Record-setting number 14 came in Riverhead Monday, a pair of Warne goals in the second-half giving the girls the 3-1 win. Dorego scored in the first half and recorded an assist in the second. Lantiere added an assist, as did junior Abby Gawronski.

Coach Judge praised Riverhead’s play, noting, “They have a lot of speed and set up several fast breaks. We were able to keep them out and get ours in. Once Lindsay gets the ball on the right side, we’re always a threat.”


Team Leaders

Warne is tied for the county lead in assists with 12 and is eighth in points (goals plus assists) with 20. Federico set a new school record for goals this season with 16 and is third in the county in goals scored.

When asked who emerged as a team leader this year, Coach Judge responded by saying, “Our captains were key in keeping everyone focused, and we have a lot of self-starters. What I saw was Lindsay, Alexa and Megan improve game after game. I also saw Nicole come a long way. When she’s in there, we become more tenacious; she battles. Having Abby and Aly [Bori] be so solid in the mid-field, and Christy be the same way in goal, brings it all together.”



Lady Whalers Near Lock For Playoffs

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With their last home game today, the Pierson varsity field hockey team has playoffs closely within their reach if they keep up their winning ways. Last week the girls won their away game against Southampton on Friday. They won again this week, beating Greenport on Tuesday 2 to 1.

At Friday’s game, Alexa Lantiere scored first for the girls only two minutes into the first half, Sarah Barrett and Mariah Cafiero also scored, giving the girls a 3-1 win against Southampton.

“Abbey Gawronski played a very good right defender, and was able to kick start the offense,” Coach Shannon Judge said on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s game against Greenport was close, the girls tied it up in the second half when Aly Bori scored Pierson’s first goal. With 16 minutes remaining in the game, Lantiere scored the game winner off a penalty corner.

Goalie Christy Deery had six saves this week, stopping five goals on Friday and one at Tuesday’s game.

On Friday, Newsday named senior Samantha Federico athlete of the week. She beat the Pierson High School record of 13 goals this season, she has 16 so far and its not over yet.

“She is a consistent athlete,” Judge said, “Her job is to put the goal in the net – and she does a great job there.”

“Right now


Seniors playing their last home game today are; Megan Pintauro, Dina Silver, Anna Verneuille, Mariah Marienfeld, and Samantha Federico. The girls will face William Floyd at 4:00 p.m. at Mashashimuet Park and Monday they are away in Riverhead.



At Midseason, Playoffs Possibility for Ladies

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By Benito Vila


2007 was hard on the Lady Whaler varsity field hockey and soccer teams. Each team missed out on post-season play and both had growing pains; soccer in coming up to the varsity level and field hockey in getting on with lesser numbers.

The 2008 season has seen a remarkable turnaround for the teams so far. Going into Saturday’s homecoming matches, field hockey stands at 5-1 in division play and 7-1 overall. Soccer is just under .500, at 2-3 in League VIII and 3-4 overall, with the hardest part of their schedule behind them.

Homecoming festivities have field hockey in Mashashimuet Park at 11 a.m Saturday to host Hampton Bays. The fifth annual field hockey alumni game follows immediately afterwards. Soccer meanwhile has a whole other homecoming agenda, hoping to best the Lady Bonackers as they celebrate theirs Friday in East Hampton; that non-league match starts at 5 p.m. on the fields off Long Lane.

This week’s schedule puts the field hockey team at home in the park today against Riverhead at 4 p.m. and at Comsewogue next Friday. Soccer meanwhile travels to Southold Monday before hosting Center Moriches next Friday.


At the top


The field hockey team went 3-0 this week, outscoring their opponents 10-1. In their 5-0 win at home against Southampton last Thursday, Sariah Cafiero scored two goals with Lindsay Warne netting one while adding three assists. Samanthe Federico and Aly Bori banged in the other goals.

The ladies were back in the park Friday, getting past Greenport-Southold 3-0. Sariah Cafiero came away with a goal, as did Federico. Abby Gawronski had a goal and an assist and Alexa Lantiere recorded an assist.

The shutout streak ended Tuesday at William Floyd, a let down on defense in the last minute of the first half leading to a breakaway goal for the Lady Colonials. The Lady Whalers came right back when Federico tied the match a little over a minute into the second half.

But it wasn’t until Warne scored three minutes into overtime that the team took the win.

Coach Shannon Judge said, “90% [of Tuesday’s] match was played inside their 25. Scoring was our issue; we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. There was one scramble after another in front of their net, but we didn’t finish.” Disappointed in the breakaway goal, Coach Judge pointed out, “We’ve let teams score twice now inside the last minute. We cannot let down then in transitioning to defense. We have to play stronger there.”

The defensive lapse aside, Coach Judge was delighted to point out that Warne, Federico and Cafiero are among the leaders in scoring on Long Island. Warne leads all Nassau and Suffolk County players in assists with nine and is tied for second in points with 14. Federico is third in goals overall with eight while Cafiero has six goals (tenth most) and two assists, the two tied at seventh place in total points.


Soccer Splits


Let downs and quick goals are also a concern for Lady Whaler soccer coach Haley Luzim. Her squad scored four second-half goals in quick succession Friday in a 6-2 win over Port Jefferson in the park. Fate returned the favor Tuesday as Smithtown Christian pulled off a 4-0 second-half run to send the girls home with a 7-0 loss.

Assessing at her team near the midpoint of its season, Coach Luzim is “looking to get more consistent. We have three games still to go against our Class C rivals, Port Jefferson, Stony Brook and Mercy, and we can have no let downs in those.”

In Friday’s win, Katie Osiecki kicked in two goals. Alicia Pagliasacchi added a goal, as did Kara Gengarelly. Amanda Busiello and Natalie Abbene, each scored once and had an assist.