Tag Archive | "Pierson Field Hockey"

Gilbride Signs Letter of Intent to Attend Richmond

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Family, coaches and friends of Pierson High School senior Kasey Gilbride gathered on Thursday  in the Pierson athetic office to celebrate as she signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Richmond on a field hockey scholarship.

Family, coaches and friends of Pierson High School senior Kasey Gilbride gathered on Thursday in the Pierson athletic office to celebrate as she signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Richmond on a field hockey scholarship.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

Kasey Gilbride, Pierson High School’s star senior field hockey player, signed a National Letter of Intent last week to play Division I field hockey at the University of Richmond.

Gilbride, who is currently a member of the varsity girls basketball team heading for the postseason, will receive a partial athletic scholarship and will report to campus to begin training in late June, almost immediately after high school graduation. She also plans to close out her high school playing career at shortstop on the Pierson softball team this spring.

“Kasey’s gritty playing style will immediately drive up the level of competition within our culture,” Richmond head coach Gina Lucido said this week while announcing her incoming class of freshman players. “Her athleticism powerfully exerts itself through consistent technical play and continual second effort Kasey has an ability to make game changing momentum shifts through her dynamic gifts and tough mentality. I am eager to see the influence of Kasey‘s winning ways and skill make a mark at the next level.”

Gilbride this week said the size of Richmond and the support of the community reminded her of Pierson and Sag Harbor, which was key in her decision to join the Spiders program. She also clicked with Lucido immediately.

“I love the family feeling of the program,” Gilbride said. “The coach tells the girls all the time that they are worthy of all their success. She actually has ‘worthy’ on the back of the girls’ warm-up tops.”

Gilbride, who was the first-ever athlete from Pierson to earn All-Region honors in field hockey, led the Lady Whalers to the program’s first New York State championship in the fall. And while her game and athletic ability dazzled most onlookers during her career, Gilbride believes she has a lot of room for improvement.

“Technically speaking, the game moves faster due to the turf and just the better skill level of the players, so I have to react faster,” said Gilbride, who is currently playing indoor hockey with her Strong Island team, which recently qualified for indoor nationals, which will be held, believe it or not, in Richmond.


Lady Whalers Win State Field Hockey Championship


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By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

They did it for Pierson, and for Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton. They did it for the nine previous teams of Lady Whalers who, since 1996, were among the last four teams standing but never did win the final game of the state tournament. They did it as a team—in the truest sense of the word—and now it can finally be said.

The Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team is a New York State champion.

Kasey Gilbride ended a grueling run to the Class C title by scoring off a penalty corner with 32.9 seconds remaining in sudden-death double overtime to beat the Cazenovia Lady Lakers, 1-0, Sunday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

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It was the Lady Lakers who beat Pierson in its last appearance at states back in 2010, adding an extra layer of intrigue to a game already wrought with intensity.

“It was our redemption year,” said senior captain Katherine Matthers, who, along with India Hemby, helped orchestrate the winning goal.

Gilbride’s goal on Sunday prevented Pierson (16-4) from entering a shootout session for a second consecutive game. The Lady Whalers had outscored Whitney Point, 3-1, in a second round of shootouts on Saturday to advance past the semifinal.

Cazenovia, which defeated Barker, 1-0, in their semifinal, had the upper hand in regulation on Sunday, earning 13 penalty corners to Pierson’s two. But in overtime, it was the Lady Whalers who had more corners, not to mention, in Gilbride, one of the best players in the state, regardless of class.

“We leave everything on the field, every time,” Gilbride said. “We showed who we are as a team, and who we are as a school. We prepared for this our entire season.”

Pierson head coach Shannon Judge said it was fitting to see Matthers and Gilbride connect on the winning play, bringing an end to a journey that began four years ago against the same team and on the same old turf field in upstate New York.

“It’s a storybook ending,” Judge said. “I think they just believe in themselves and I believe in them with such strength.”

While it was Gilbride and Matthers who teamed up on the winning goal, it was Pierson’s team defense that truly shined over the weekend. Sam Duchemin, the hero from Saturday’s semifinal, made eight saves while Hemby, Rachael Miller and Kirra McGowin consistently halted the Cazenovia attack.

Freshman Allura Leggard was a force on corner defense, and Emme Luck, Cali Cafiero and Erica Selyukova helped the team transition from defense to offense.

“We move as one,” McGowin said of the team defense. “Anything to stop a goal, that’s what we do.”

“We gave a lot of heart,” Hemby added. “We put everything we had onto the field.”

Freshman Ana Sherwood provided her usual bursts of energy from the center forward position over the weekend, and aside from previously mentioned players, will return next year along with Phiona Vall, Sheila Mackey, Cassandra Spencer, Kerrie Vila and seventh-grader Hollie Schleicher.

Gilbride, Matthers and Hemby were named All-Tournament and they, along with fellow seniors McGowin, Luck and Emma Romeo, played their final game for Pierson on Sunday.

“We’ve all been working for this since our freshman year,” Luck said. “We just made Pierson history.”

Indeed, it had been since 1978 since a Pierson team won a state title, and that was in boys basketball. The Pierson field hockey program sent teams to the state semifinals from 1996 through 2003, and then again in 2010 when this group of seniors were freshmen.

And so now the wait is over and Pierson High School, with just 306 students from a small town at the end of Long Island, is back on the map as a powerhouse field hockey program.

“We have the smallest program, the lowest numbers. It’s truly a David and Goliath situation,” Judge said about the state tournament. “Cazenovia is still a big school compared to us, so it really speaks to their heart and showing up every day and working their butts off.”

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State Title in Reach for Lady Whalers


Kasey Gilbride, above right during yesterday's state Class C semifinal game, and a group of six seniors will lead the Lady Whalers into today's championship game.

Kasey Gilbride, above right during yesterday’s state Class C semifinal game, and a group of six seniors will lead the Lady Whalers into today’s championship game.

By Gavin Menu

An all-too familiar opponent is waiting to face the Pierson-Bridgehampton field hockey team in today’s New York State Class C Championship at Cicero-North Syracuse High School at 12:30 p.m.

The Cazenovia Lady Lakers advanced to face the Lady Whalers after defeating Barker, 1-0, in double overtime in the Class C semifinal round on Saturday. That game followed Pierson’s marathon win over Whitney Point, which took two overtimes and two nail-biting shootout sessions to settle.

It was Cazenovia in 2010 that knocked off Pierson in the state final, sending the Lady Whalers home once again without a state title to its resume. Pierson over the last 20 years has reached the semifinal and final round of the state tournament a number of times, but never reached the ultimate goal of a state championship.

Cazenovia, on the other hand, has won two of the last three Class C titles. After struggling against a Barker team that allowed only five goals this season, junior Ashley Kent scored in sudden-death double overtime to send the Lady Lakers back to the big stage.

Waiting will be a gritty Lady Whalers team that has now won 11 straight games, their last loss coming against Miller Place back on October 8.

Seniors Kasey Gilbride, Katherine Matthers, India Hemby, Kirra McGowin, Emme Luck and Emma Romeo, some of who were on the team that lost to Cazenovia in 2010, will suit up in a Pierson field hockey uniform for the final time today.

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.


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.

Pierson Golf Faces Showdown

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By Benito Vila

The October 1881 gunfight known as “The Shoot-out at the O.K. Corral” is often credited with creating a new order in the American West. When the Pierson and Southampton golfers come in from playing their round at the Noyac Golf Club today, there could be a new order in League VIII.

The winner will come in second in the league, a spot regretfully taken in recent years by either East Hampton or Southampton, with one or the other earning the title. This year, the Bonackers have made it through the league undefeated, while the Whalers and Mariners have identical 6-3 marks.

Both Pierson and Southampton will be intent on winning today, neither one wanting to see the other come out ahead. Whaler coach Sean Crowley captured the pre-match drama well in saying, “Both teams will know exactly what is at stake and it’s the last league contest of the year.”

The Whalers rolled up an 8-1 win over Ross on Tuesday to set up today’s showdown.

That win also pushed the team’s overall mark to 9-3, a new all-time victory total.

A 3-0 week

The Ross win was the third of the week for the Whalers, having taken an 8-1 non-league match from Mercy last Wednesday and a 6-3 league match from Center Moriches on Thursday.

In describing those outcomes, Coach Crowley said, “Wednesday was the windiest day of the year with gusts up to 50 miles an hour at Long Island National. We averaged 46 a man for a 230 total compared to Mercy’s total of 265.”

“And we were consistent up and down the line up Thursday, getting wins at positions three through six. That meant our first two golfers didn’t have the full burden of leading the team against a senior laden team. It was simply a good team win, 248 to 251.”

The team has two more rounds to play before the season’s out. The first comes Monday at Noyac, a non-league match with Shelter Island, and the other is “the annual Pumpkin Classic,” an outing with friends and family that Coach Crowley is still working on scheduling.