By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller
Pierson High School celebrated homecoming over the weekend with a full schedule of games and success across many different playing fields.
The school’s boys soccer team continued its streak of unbeaten play in League VIII, improving to 4-0 atop the league standings with a 5-0 win over Greenport on Friday. Cameron Burton scored twice for the Whalers and Jack Fitzpatrick had a goal and two assists.
Two days earlier, on September 17, Pierson beat Port Jefferson, 4-1, for the first time in four years behind two goals and two assists from Fitzpatrick, a senior who is once again leading the offensive attack for the Whalers, the undefeated league champions from a season ago.
“We’ve been both fortunate and the team is improving,” head coach Peter Solow said this week. “And there has been much more intensity recently.”
Solow said Fitzpatrick has “the capacity to take a game over” and that his speed, along with that of fellow senior Johnny Chisholm, is hard for most teams to contend with. Solow also praised the play of sophomore Chase Zimmerman, who in his first year as goalie made eight saves against Greenport to post a shutout on homecoming weekend.
“He’s the most courageous guy we have on our team,” Solow said of Zimmerman, who stepped up in the preseason after the presumed starting goalie decided to play another sport. “We were desperate and I asked him to go in goal. He has the potential over time to become a tremendous goalie.”
Jesus Padilla scored goals against Port Jeff and Greenport, while Charlie Pintado added a goal against Port Jeff and Chisholm against Greenport.
Pierson will travel for a re-match with Greenport on Monday under the lights at 6:15 p.m. A date with second-place Smithtown Christian is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in Mashashimuet Park.
“The next three games will tell a lot about how we’re going to be this year,” Solow said on Monday. “We have to go out every game with intensity, work hard and do the best we can. “
Up and Down Week for Field Hockey
The Lady Whalers field hockey team posted a 1-2 record over the last week, with a homecoming weekend win over Hampton Bays as a highlight on Saturday.
Sophomore phenom Ana Sherwood scored five goals and had two assists to lead Pierson in a 8-0 romp over the Lady Baymen. Cali Cafiero had two goals and Hollie Schleicher had one.
The offensive explosion was welcome after a 1-0 loss to Shoreham-Wading River three days earlier on September 17. Shoreham’s Emily DeGenarro is one of the best goalies on Long Island, according to Pierson coach Shannon Judge, and made 10 saves in the game, which Pierson played once again without senior defender Rachel Miller, who has been out sick but returned to the lineup on Saturday.
“It was definitely an evenly matched game,” Judge said about facing Shoreham. “Their goalie was excellent and came up with two huge saves within the last three minutes of play which could have been goals.”
Pierson (3-3) also lost to Sayville on Monday by a score of 3-1, which dropped the team’s overall record to 3-3, good for ninth place in Division III with 96.870 power points. The Lady Whalers play at Babylon, a fellow Class C school, this Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The game is a crucial one since only the top three schools out of five from Class C will advance to the postseason.
“Generally speaking, we are playing well, but are very young,” Judge said. “We just need a little more time to find our ebb and flow.”
East Hampton Tennis Beats Rival
The East Hampton girls tennis team, which features players from Pierson and Bridgehampton, avenged a loss from earlier this season with a 4-3 win over Westhampton at home on Saturday, which was also part of homecoming weekend at East Hampton High School.
Pierson’s Isabel Peters and Cece Combemale won at second and fourth singles, respectively, with dominant straight-set wins as the Lady Bonackers took three out of the four singles matches. Harriet DeGroot, from Bridgehampton, and Pierson’s Lily Kot also cruised in their match, winning 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles to clinch the win for East Hampton, which also beat McGann Mercy this week to improve to 3-3 in League VII play.
The Lady Bonackers will host Miller Place on Monday at 4 p.m.
Surprising Result for Girls Swimming
The East Hampton girls swim team, which includes a handful of students from Pierson, picked up a surprising win over visiting Smithtown on Friday, winning 92-76 in front of a capacity crowd at the YMCA aquatic center.
“After just four weeks of training, the girls are quickly improving their times,” head coach Craig Brierley said. “They are beginning to realize that their hard work is paying off.”
The team will host two consecutive League II meets at the YMCA, starting with Harborfields on Wednesday, October 1, at 5 p.m., to be followed by a meet with Huntington on October 7, also at 5 p.m.
Whalers Golf Bounces Back With Win
After falling to perennial League VII powerhouse Southampton last Thursday, September 18, the Pierson golf team bounced back with an 8-1 win over Westhampton at the Noyac Golf Club on Monday afternoon and a huge win over East Hampton on Tuesday, the first over the Bonackers since 2012.
Ben Kushner dropped his match in the number-one spot against Westhampton, shooting a 49 compared to the 48 from Bobby Joyce of Westhampton. Pierson golfers dominated the remaining matches, with Charles Canavan (43), Matt Burke (47) and Jack Brown (42) winning in the next three spots. Freshman Tyler LaBorne shot a team-best 41 to win his match in the fifth spot, while Greg Baum (52) and Theo Gray (56) won matches as well. As a team, Pierson outshot Westhampton 222-250.
Canavan (42), Kushner (41), Burke (43) all picked up points and LaBorne (51) halved his match against East Hampton. As a team, the Whalers narrowly edged the Bonackers 223-224 and improved their overall record to 4-1 overall
The Whalers will face Westhampton again on Tuesday, this time at the Westhampton Country Club, at 3:30 p.m.
Girls Soccer Drops a Pair
The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls soccer team dropped two games over the last week, including a 3-0 loss to Southold at home on Saturday as part of the school’s homecoming festivities. Earlier in the week, on Thursday, September 18, the Lady Whalers (0-4, League VII) fell to Mattituck on the road by a score of 4-1.
Next up is a game at Stony Brook on Monday at 4:30 p.m. , with a home game against Port Jefferson scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, at 4:30 p.m.
Volleyball Showdown at Ross on Monday
The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls volleyball team also dropped a pair of matches this week, losing in straight sets to both Stony Brook on Friday, September 19, and Port Jefferson on Monday. The Lady Whalers dropped to 1-4 in the League VIII standings.
The Lady Whalers will have an opportunity to get back into the winning column when they play at the winless Ross School on Monday at 4 p.m.