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Senior Class Has Lady Whalers Flying High

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Pierson senior Kasey Gilbride weaving through traffic during the Lady Whalers' 2-1 win over Harborfields on Friday.

Pierson senior Kasey Gilbride weaving through traffic during the Lady Whalers’ 2-1 win over Harborfields on Friday.

By Gavin Menu

The writing was on the wall back in 2010 when then-freshmen Katherine Matthers and Kasey Gilbride helped lead the Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team on a charge through the postseason. The team fell short of a state title that year but a core of young players, which also included Kirra McGowin and Emme Luck, tasted championship hockey and looked toward a bright future in scarlet and black.

Flash forward to 2013 and those players are part of a senior class that is leading one of the most potent offensive attacks in Suffolk County.

Gilbride on Monday punctuated an emotional final home game of the season by scoring four goals in a 6-2 win over Sayville, which coming into the game was ranked second in the competitive confines of Division III field hockey.

Pierson head coach Shannon Judge said the win — Pierson’s fourth in a row — should lock up the top seed for the Suffolk Class C playoffs, which will begin this Monday with an out bracket game between second-seeded Southampton and whichever team finishes third, likely either Babylon or Greenport-Southold.

The Lady Whalers will await the winner in the Suffolk County Class C title game, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 31 at Dowling College at 6:30 p.m.

India Hemby, a senior from Bridgehampton who also played her final home game on Monday, had five assists against Sayville, which remained in second place despite the loss.

The Lady Whalers improved to 9-4 in division play and with 136.170 power points, are now in third place behind only Sayville and Miller Place.

Earlier in the week, on October 16, Pierson dominated cross-town rival East Hampton with a 5-0 victory over the Lady Bonackers and their coach, Robyn Bramoff, a former star player for Pierson. Gilbride scored three goals in the game and assisted on another, while Hemby and Luck also contributed goals toward the win.

Gilbride, who on Tuesday was tied with two other players for the most goals scored in Suffolk County with 18, also scored what turned out to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Harborfields back in Sag Harbor on Friday. She launched a shot into the back of the net with 16:05 remaining in the second half.

“It was a perfect bullet to the left corner,” Judge said about the goal, which was assisted by Hemby off a corner and gave the team a 2-0 lead.

Freshman Ana Sherwood, who is expected to lead the next generation of Lady Whalers hockey, opened the scoring with a beautiful goal early against Harborfields, which closed the game strong with a goal and a flurry of shots on Pierson keeper Sam Duchemin, who made six saves in the game, during a frenzied final few minutes.

Then on Monday, the team and its senior class, which also includes Emma Romeo, who went out with a season-ending injury earlier this year, gave the home crowd one last treat to take home from Mashashimuet Park, another dominant victory over a top opponent.

“I’ve had these girls since sixth grade, so for me as a teacher and coach, I’ve seen them grow up as people and athletes. They are very special to me,” Judge said about the seniors. “They all have intense energy with a desire to improve and win.”

The Lady Whalers will close out the regular season at Rocky Point tonight, October 24, at 6:30 p.m. If Southampton manages to advance to the Class C title game, it will be a rematch from last year’s county final, which the Lady Mariners won, 2-0.

In the wake of that loss, Gilbride instantly looked ahead to this season and said, “With our senior class next year, we are going to be a dominant team.”

As it turned out, that was an accurate premonition three years in the making.


Sports Wrap 10/24/13

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Girls Tennis Advances To Set Up Meeting with Rival

Pierson’s Isabel Peters defeated Alanna Salwen, 6-1, 6-2, at second singles to help lead the fourth-ranked East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson girls tennis team past Smithtown West in the second round of the Suffolk County team playoffs on Tuesday. The Lady Bonackers advanced to play rival Ross School in a quarterfinal yesterday, October 23, after press time.

Girls Soccer Closes Season

The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls soccer team fell to 1-12 in League VIII this week with a 5-0 loss to Babylon on Friday followed by a 1-0 loss to Stony Brook at home on Tuesday.  The Lady Whalers closed out the regular season at Southold-Greenport yesterday, October 23, ending the high school careers of Katherine Coronado, Paige DePetris, Gabrielle Goggin, Marley Holder, Katy Koehne, Ashley Nill, Diana Rozzi, Eilis Sheil, Sol Varela and Phylicia Weber.

Head coach Lisa DiRussa thanked the seniors on Tuesday for their selflessness in helping to start a re-building process at Pierson by playing occasionally on the junior varsity team this fall.

“Their response was overwhelmingly positive,” DiRussa said about the seniors. “They embraced the experience as mentors and leaders. I feel lucky to have a team led by these ten seniors who set the tone for respect, hard work and kindness for all to follow.”

Pierson Golfers Finish Third in League VIII Championship

The Pierson-Bridgehampton golf team finished in third place behind Southampton and East Hampton in the League VIII Championship at Rock Hill Golf Club on Tuesday.  East Hampton won the tournament with an overall team score of 453, Southampton finished second with a 469 and Pierson was third with a total score of 470. Center Moriches finished fourth and Westhampton finished fifth.

Pierson senior Jack Bori shot an 88 over 18 holes to lead the Whalers. Garrett Potter shot a 93 and Ben Kushner a 94 to close out their seasons. Jack Brown (96), Charles Canavan (99) and Matthew Burke (99) rounded out the top six.

Along with Bori, Kushner, Potter and Brown, fellow seniors Nick Kruel, Pat Rice and Henry Kotz closed out their golfing careers for Pierson.

One last gathering will take place on October 28 with the team’s annual Pumpkin Classic, where players will be joined by a parent, friend or teacher for a round on the famed course at The Bridge Golf Club.

Bori and Kushner Win at Sebonack

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Jack Bori and Ben Kushner, pictured with Jack Brown, Charles Canavan and coach Sean Crowley, won the Southampton Town Challenge at Sebonack last week.

Jack Bori and Ben Kushner, pictured with Jack Brown, Charles Canavan and coach Sean Crowley, won the Southampton Town Challenge at Sebonack last week.

By Gavin Menu

The Pierson-Bridgehampton golf team has fallen short this season against their rivals from Southampton and East Hampton, falling most recently, 8-1, on Tuesday to the Mariners, who clinched their second-consecutive League VIII title. When it comes to winning the coveted “Shutter” in the Town of Southampton Challenge at the Sebonack Golf Club, however, the Whalers are the team to beat.

Jack Bori and Ben Kushner, Pierson’s top-two players, on Friday defended the Whalers’ crown from last season’s tournament, where then-seniors Dillon Decker and Gabe Dennon posted the lowest score of the tournament. Bori and Kushner combined to shoot a 73 in a best-ball format, which was five strokes better than Matt Kreymborg and Christian Oakley from Southampton.

Teams from Hamptons Bays (83) and Westhampton Beach (96) finished in third and fourth place for the tournament.

“Even though the weather was threatening, it was a good day for the Whalers,” head coach Sean Crowley said. “They really played with good teamwork. If one kid went down a hole, the other stepped up.”

The best-ball tournament is set up where each team’s lowest score on every hole is posted to the scorecard. Pierson’s 73 was just 1-over par on the demanding, championship-level course at Sebonack.

“They were very consistent from start to finish and played good partner golf,” Crowley said, adding that Jack Brown and Charles Canavan, Pierson’s number three and four players, caddied for Bori and Kushner. “The caddies worked really well together reading and measuring distances.”

Pierson finished the regular season with a 6-4 record following Tuesday’s loss to Southampton. Kushner continued his strong play and posted a 38 at the Noyac Golf Club to halve his match with Oakley. Kreymborg defeated Bori in the top spot with a score of 41 to Bori’s 44.

Matt Burke shot a 50 in the fifth spot to halve his match, while Canavan (48), Brown (55) and Pat Rice (62) lost points to their opponents from Southampton.

Next up for the Whalers is the League VIII Fall Championship at the Rock Hill Golf Club in Manorville on Tuesday, October 22.


Whalers Win League Title

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Jack Fitzpatrick has scored 17 goals this season, tied for the second most in Suffolk County.

Jack Fitzpatrick has scored 17 goals this season, tied for the second most in Suffolk County.

By Gavin Menu

When it was announced earlier this year that perennial boys soccer powerhouse Port Jefferson had moved up to League VII and Class B for this season, a glimmer of hope appeared in the collective eye of the Pierson-Bridgehampton boys soccer program. With Port Jeff stumbling through a two-win season, the Whalers are now the class of League VIII.

The team’s 2-1 road win at second-place Southold on Friday clinched Pierson’s first league title since “the last century,” according to head coach Peter Solow, and improved the Whalers’ league record to 8-0-1 with just one game remaining on the league schedule.

The Whalers, who are 9-2-2 overall, hosted winless Knox School last night after press time, a team they beat 11-0 in their first meeting earlier this year.

Solow on Tuesday said the game against Southold (7-2 League VIII) was extremely competitive and physical, which was no surprise considering Southold’s only two losses in league play this year came against the Whalers, both by one-goal margins.

“We’re going to have to play them again in the playoffs,” Solow said, adding that it may be just two teams that will qualify from Class C. “They are a very effective team, a very good team, and I think for portions of the game on Friday they outplayed us. It really could have gone either way.”

Pierson junior Jack Fitzpatrick scored both goals against Southold, the second coming late in the second half off a breakaway set up by senior Forrest Loesch, Pierson’s tireless midfielder. The goal was Fitzpatrick’s 17th of the season, which is tied for the second highest total in Suffolk County behind James Thristino (22) of Comsewogue.

“Jack has been a revelation this year,” Solow said. “I knew he was going to be very good, but I didn’t know exactly how he was going to contribute. Since I’ve been coaching, I don’t think we’ve ever had a kid score even 10 goals in a season.”

Pierson senior Drew Harvey has 10 goals and five assists this season as part of a dangerous one-two punch for the Whalers, whose offense has clicked all season long.

“Last season I had three goals,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that he never expected the kind of productivity he has contributed this season. “The team chemistry on offense is the key to it all.”

Pierson likely cruised last night against Knox, but things are about to become decidedly more difficult for the Whalers, who will play non-league games against Southampton and Mattituck, two of the best Class B schools in Suffolk County over the last decade. Both games will be played on the road, starting Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Southampton.

Mattituck will host the Whalers on October 22 at 4 p.m., with the Suffolk County Class C playoffs tentatively scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 30.

“If we want to be successful in the playoffs we have to become more disciplined, we have to be more fit and we have to get 100 percent from all of the guys,” Solow said. “I don’t think there’s any better way of preparing for that than playing some really good schools. For us, to play them is going to be a massive challenge.”


Girls Soccer Falls at Home

The Lady Whalers girls soccer team has not been as successful this season and recently dropped two straight home games against tough competition. The team lost, 3-1, to Mattituck on October 10, with Zoe Diskin scoring a goal in the second half as the Lady Whalers could only muster four shots on goal. Hayley Lund had 8 saves in the game. Pierson lost, 6-0, to Port Jefferson on Tuesday to fall to 1-10 on the league season.

The Lady Whalers will play at Babylon tomorrow, October 18, at 4:30 p.m. before returning home on October 22 for a game against Stony Brook at 4:30 p.m. They will close out the regular season at Southold/Greenport on October 23 at 4 p.m.

First “Andy’s Run” Brings Runners, Walkers and Families to Sag Harbor to Celebrate Neidnig

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Fiachra Hallissey, left, accepting his first place trophy from John Conner, an East Hampton resident, life-long runner and a friend of Andy Neidnig. 

By Gavin Menu

The Andy’s Run 5K was held Saturday morning in Sag Harbor, complete with winners, trophies and the usual mix of elite runners, walkers and families out for a leisurely stroll.

The real celebration, however, was for the sport of running itself, being that the event was named for Sag Harbor’s own running man, Andy Neidnig, one of the greatest athletes ever from the East End.

“I wanted to get at least 100 people, and we were way over,” said Robert Arcs, a member of the Sag Harbor Lions Club, which presented the event. “It’s a wonderful success in honor of Andy. Like his wife said to me, Andy is looking down on us today.”

Fiachra Hallissey, 42, of East Hampton was the overall winner in 18:38.4, with James Moore, 29, of Montauk finishing second in 19:22.3. Jorge Bautista, 24, of Sag Harbor was third in 19:24.8.

Sharon McCobb, 50, of East Hampton was the top female finisher, posting a time of 20:57.4. Renee Meier, 58, was the second overall female with a time of 22:22, and Alden Powers, at just 10 years old, finished third in 22:26.5.

A complete list of results is available at island-timing.com.

Neidnig passed away in 2012 at the age of 93, but not before he compiled an impressive running career. He was a celebrated marathoner and World War II veteran who raced in more 30 marathons, including one at the age of 80. His first marathon was in 1938 in Boston, where he placed ninth overall. In 1989, he set an over-70 record in the New York City marathon with a time of 3:32.28.

Neidnig attended Manhattan College in the late 1930s, and broke the national collegiate record for the two-mile at the time. His times in the half-mile and mile were just seconds off the world records and it was widely believed that Neidnig would have been an Olympian if not for the games being cancelled because of World War II.

When the Masters movement began in the 1970s, Neidnig was presented with competitive events for older age groups and his running career took off again.

“Andy was great. Every race he’d say ‘I’m not feeling too well,’ and then he’d go on to win it,” said John Conner, a resident of East Hampton who ran alongside Neidnig for 30 years. “He was very lucky that the Master movement came along in 1972. Running is for fanatics and it was something you had to dedicate your life to. Andy was incredibly dedicated.”

Neidnig’s dedication was on full display on Saturday with a table full of trophies and awards he compiled over his career, including his Manhattan College Hall of Fame trophy and two crystal trophies for being named the Masters Athlete of the Year by the New York Road Runner’s Club, which presents the New York City Marathon.

“In running it’s you against yourself,” Conner said before adding with a sly grin, “the cruelest of competitors.”

McCobb, the top female finisher, is president of the Old Montauk Athletic Club, which every year recognizes one member of the East End community as its Athlete of the Year. The club decided going forward, McCobb said, that the award would be named in honor of Neidnig.

This year’s winner will be David Powers, a triathlete who ran on Saturday alongside his daughter, Alden, the third overall female finisher.

“I had heard about him and learned a lot more these last few weeks,” Powers said when asked about Neidnig.

Most of the post-race conversation on Saturday, in fact, trailed back to Neidnig and his running career, which spanned seven decades. Sarah Adams, whose father, George Sheehan, ran with Neidnig at Manhattan College and went on to write The New York Times bestseller “Running & Being: The Total Experience,” ran in Saturday’s race and finished first overall in her age group (60 to 69).

“Andy and my dad ran together through college and when my dad came out here they would get together,” Adams said. “Andy was just so fabulous and Sag Harbor loved him.”

“I ran with him for 30 years and he was indubitably a world-class runner,” Conner added, pointing out that he and Neidnig ran together in world Masters championships in Italy, Australia, Japan, Finland and South Africa, among other locations. “Frequently he placed, but he always ran against world-class people if he could.”





Sag Harbor Sailing News

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One More Race at Breakwater

Steve Kenny and Greg Ames sailed Gossip to a win in the second-to-last race of the Breakwater Yacht Club’s fall Wednesday night sailing series on October 2, finishing with a corrected time of 47 minutes and 25 seconds. Light wind prompted the race committee to shorten the course to just four legs.

Purple Haze, captained by Lee Oldak, finished second in Division 1 with a time of 0:49:21, while Caminos and captain Donald Filipelli finished third in 0:49.29.

A crew of junior sailors won Division 2, finishing with a corrected time of 0:48.08. Jim Smyth and Derrick Galen sailed White Lightning to second in 0:48:22 while George Martin and Osprey finished third in 0:51:04.

Whitebread20 Regatta on Saturday

The 20th running of the Whitebread20 sailing regatta will be on Saturday, October 12. The race will begin in Peconic Bay, off New Suffolk and sail around Shelter Island in a 30+ mile course. Organizers are expecting up to 120 boats participating in the largest sailing regatta on the East End of Long Island.

Registration for the race is closed, but there will be great viewing opportunities available all morning starting with the 8:35 a.m. start in Cutchogue Harbor. Seven division will continue to start until the last (or fastest boats) start at 10:15 am. The boats will head east with the most likely course taking them through Southold Bay, running clockwise around Shelter Island, past Greenport, Sag Harbor, and back through Peconic Bay finishing back in Cutchogue. Some of the best viewing will be in Greenport starting late morning through early afternoon.

The forecast is calling for NE winds up to 15 knots, which should make for lots of colorful spinnaker sails flying, and boats tacking as the fleet battles wind, tide and each other in a race to the finish.

Pierson Boys and Girls Cross Country Wins

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Both the Pierson girls and boys cross county teams picked up wins over the Knox School on Tuesday, with the girls winning 15-40 and the boys 16-39. Pierson had the top six finishers in the girls’ race, with Elena Skerys and Hannah Jungck finishing first and second in 22:26 and 22:27, respectively, for the 2.8 mile course at Sunken Meadow. The girls record is 3-2.

Tiger Britt and Max Yardley were the first finishers in the boys’ race. The two teams will travel this weekend to the Bronx to run in the Manhattan College Invitational at Van Cortland Park. Next Tuesday, October 15, the teams host Southold at Mashashimuet Park for their last dual meet of the season.

Mixed Results for Pierson-Bridgehampton Soccer Teams

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The Pierson-Bridgehampton volleyball team, which is in the midst of one of its best seasons in the program’s short history, knocked off visiting Port Jefferson, 3-1, on Tuesday in the team’s “Dig Pink” game, which helps raise awareness about Breast Cancer. The win was a nice bounce back after the team lost a non-league match, 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-20), to Hampton Bays on Friday.

“The girls played a tough game and really hustled,” head coach Donna Fischer said about the match against the Lady Baymen. “Hampton Bays was much scrappier than us and we were surprised when the ball came right back at us.”

Lily Kunzeman had 11 serves, Tatyana Dawson had seven serves and seven kills and Jenna Hochstedler had six serves and eight kills to lead the Lady Whalers against Hampton Bays.

May Evjen had 20 serves, 16 digs and 14 assists against Port Jeff, while Kunzeman had another big game with 36 digs and 20 kills. Bridget Canavan had 25 digs, 15 serves and 13 kills in the match, which Pierson won 25-22, 25-14, 22-25, 25-15.

Despite Loss, Good Week for Pierson-Bridgehampton Field Hockey

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A 5-1 loss to Miller Place on Tuesday temporarily set back the Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team, which was coming off a stellar week in which it climbed up the Division III standings.

Kasey Gilbride opened the scoring with a first-half goal against Miller Place, but the Lady Panthers scored five unanswered to improve their division-leading record to 9-1.

Pierson, which fell to 5-4 and into fifth place in the power-point standings with 116.240 points, knocked off Rocky Point in an upset on September 30 and went on to beat Bayport-Blue Point, 2-1, on October 2 with Ana Sherwood and India Hemby scoring goals. While the score was close, the Lady Whalers dominated the action with 21 shots on goal and nine corners, compared to just five shots and two corners for the Lady Phantoms.

“Overall, we are working on consistency and finishing,” head coach Shannon Judge said, adding that her line-up is now solidified heading toward the end of the regular season, which is two weeks away. “Kirra McGowin and Rachael Miller have also been excellent stepping up on defense.”

The Lady Whalers will travel to play Port Jefferson today, October 10, at 4:30 p.m. and will host East Hampton on October 16 at 4 p.m.