Cook, Curtis, Ahrens lead Massapequa to Nassau 'A' crown
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Jamie Ahrens jokingly downplayed her offensive ability and her team's. With Massapequa having graduated its best scorers the last two years, expectations of a high-powered attack perhaps seemed far-fetched.
"I'll be lucky if I score five goals all season,'' the senior said. "Hopefully, our team can score five in a game. That'll be exciting.''
That was said before the field hockey season began.
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Five goals? The Chiefs had that many in the first half Sunday night. And five titles: They now have that many in a row.
Michele Cook and Gabby Curtis each had two goals and an assist, and Ahrens had a goal and three assists to lead top-seeded Massapequa over Port Washington, 6-0, in the Nassau Class A final at Adelphi.
The Chiefs (12-3) will face Sachem East for the Long Island championship at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Dowling.
"I definitely thought we could score like this,'' Curtis said. "We talked about someone being a spark for the offense, and everyone was.''
Well, Curtis was the first ember, putting Massapequa on the board 4:42 in. She took a penalty-corner pass and scored from 5 yards. Then, 1:39 later, Rachel Sieber scored off another corner. Then it was Cook, 14:07 before halftime.
"Once we start scoring, we can't stop,'' Ahrens said, revising her old take. The forward's goal -- her 11th of the season, by the way -- made it 4-0. "That's been us this year: Once we get rolling, we keep it going.''
They kept it going, before coach Barbara Lowell's substitutions early in the second half. The emergence of Curtis, Cook and Christina Conkling helped make the Chiefs explosive. And their aggressive, swarming defense ensured the scorers had plenty of opportunities. Lauren Slattery, Colleen Bourgal and Taylor Scibilia keyed the shutout, and Cassidy O'Brien made three saves.
Vera Puglisi had 11 saves for No. 2 Port Washington (5-8), which made its third straight finals appearance.
"We were going straight to the ball, looking to get it right back to our offense,'' Slattery said. "Them scoring so quickly made the game easier, so we really have to thank them for that.''
A high-five might be apropos.