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Miller Place leftovers & former players

Miller Place's Dominique Soto and Megan Gonzalez after

Miller Place's Dominique Soto and Megan Gonzalez after winning Class B LI field hockey championship (Nov. 13, 2012)

First things first… This picture posted here was promised to Dominique Soto and Megan Gonzalez, who are following me on Twitter in exchange. You should do the same. @StephenHaynes4.

Yes, I was the last American under age 70 to get an account, but I’m finally on the thingy. I’ll be tweeting live from games upstate, so I’m there for anyone who can’t make it. If you want updates from the sidelines, missives infused with a lil’ bit of humor, or enjoy random “whateverness,” feel free to follow. Honest, I’m nicer on the internet than I am in person.

And onto the postgame reaction. (Note: Class B Long Island championship ended at about 9:30, which is when my deadline was, so all the post-game interviews were done after the story had already been filed. If anyone wondered why there weren’t more quotes in that story, that’s the reason.)

Maggie Revera scored to put Miller Place up 1-0 late in the first half.

She fist pumped and rapped the opening lines of the Sir Mix-a-lot classic “Baby Got Back” during the post-game celebration. Umm. Why? "From the first second we stepped on the field, I decided to break it down and get us fired up. I don’t know. I guess it’s now our lucky song and gets us pumped up. I like to dance."

Going to states: “It feels so good. I was just crying. We worked so hard the entire season. Sprinting in the snow, doing hills and all that stuff, it was all worth it.”

After a scoreless, evenly-played first half, Revera scored with 1:07 left before halftime to grab some momentum. On a rebound and reset off a penalty corner, she took a pass from Allie Krumholz and scored. “I’ve been working on my positioning on those types of corners all year, and sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. Tonight it just happened to work out perfectly. Couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

Ally Hutzler scoring two goals in the second half to seal the win: “Ally is one of my best friends. Me and her work together well on and off the field, and I couldn’t be happier for her.”

On her coach, Alana LaMorte, going back to states with Miller Place: “I can’t imagine how it must feel for her right now. She went to states as a player and now she’s doing it again with us as a coach, so it’s come full circle. That’s pretty awesome.”

Ally Hutzler added two second-half goals that made it 3-0.

Miller Place plays on grass at home, so how difficult was it adjusting to the turf field at Adelphi? “There definitely was an adjustment for several minutes, but you get used to it. You learn you have to make smaller passes and not just go for the big hit.”

The team will be doing more running in preparation for states: "I’m looking forward to it, as long as it’ll help us win states.”

Panthers coach Alana LaMorte

Flying under the radar for much of the season: “We actually enjoyed that. It was like, ‘Go ahead and blow up everybody else’s spot and we’ll just cruise right through.’”

Going back upstate: It feels great. This group was something special and I knew it from beginning. I just a had a feeling this team would do something big.

Being scoreless with Manhasset until the last minute of the first half: “Being scoreless was OK with me because the first half of games like this is all adrenaline. I’ve been there. Everybody is screaming, you’re excited and you can’t even hear each other on the field. You really don’t relax until the second half and everyone regroups. So under those circumstances, when Maggie’s goal went in and gave us a lead going into half, that was great.”

Having the players running sprints in the snow and rain: “The girls are self-motivated and they did it. They trust me and didn’t question it for one second. It got them prepared to play in any kind of condition.”

After going through a condensed playoff schedule that included four games in four days, the teams will finally have some time off before Friday’s travel and Saturday’s state semifinals. “Few days off?” (And she said it like Jim Mora famously said, “Playoffs?”) “We don’t take days off here. We’ve got back-to-back games when we get upstate. We’ll need to prepare for that.”

They’ll face Pittsford Sutherland in a state Class B semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Should they advance, they would get the winner of the Lakeland/Maine Endwell game on Sunday.

Corinne and Kim Geiger in attendance at LI

One of the most fun things about covering the playoffs is running into former players. Last night at Adelphi, the Geiger sisters of Ward Melville made an appearance. Corinne and Kim – or, best remembered in my notebook as WM#3 and WM#6 – popped in to watch the games. They obviously were focused most on the Class A game, what with Ward Melville’s bitter rivalry with Sachem East. The Patriots dominated Suffolk Class A for five years, but Sachem East beat them in last year’s county final en route to the state championship. Kim is now a freshman at Dowling. Corinne, a senior, has battled back from multiple torn ACLs and is playing field hockey and lacrosse for Ward Melville.

Weird story: Kim actually got me booed at a basketball game last winter. It was Riverhead/Hauppauge in the Suffolk championships at Farmingdale State. Riverhead had played Ward Melville in one of the previous rounds and whatever Geiger did, it was enough to draw a loud, droning “Geeeeeeeiiiigggggggggeeeeeerrrr!” chant from the Riverhead fans when she was spotted in the stands. Amused by it, I went over and said hello and was thoroughly booed. Loved it. That was one of the top 10 funniest moments of the 2011-2012 sports year.

Also in attendance was former Manhasset standout Erin Connors, the older sister of Kate. And Sachem East star Kristen Bagley, who now plays at Adelphi. She was a midfielder on last year's state championship team and tore her ACL in the state final. But here's the kick: Bagley actually went back into that game after injuring her knee midway through the first half. The severity of the injury wasn't yet known, but she demanded to re-enter and played a few minutes in the second half and in penalty strokes. Probably shouldn't have done that, but you have to admire the toughness and will. She said she has recovered from the injury and now feels fine.

And shout-out to Dana Ahrens, a former Massapequa defender, who also now plays for Adelphi. She was there to watch her former team and her little sister, Jamie, compete against Sachem East.

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