Bridget Abraldes took the halftime speech to heart.
The Sachem East senior forward said she wanted to help jump-start her team’s offense after a slow start in Saturday afternoon’s Long Island Class A championship. So Abraldes got fired up to score a pair of goals and assist on another, lifting the Flaming Arrows to a 3-0 victory over Massapequa at Centereach High School.
It’s the second straight title for Sachem East and sends the squad back to the state semifinals, taking on Section IV’s Maine-Endwell, Nov. 16 at 12:30 p.m. at Williamsville-North High School in Buffalo.
“We knew it was our game, we just had to keep passing and finish every chance we got,” Abraldes said. “The pressure was up, and we wanted it so bad, so we just did what we had to do.”
Sachem East (18-0) racked up seven first-half corners, and while coach Tina Moon said the Flaming Arrows “were biting at the bit,” the squad struggled to turn those chances into goals. Abraldes made sure to change that, scoring off a corner just over a minute into the second half to give Sachem East a 1-0 lead.
“Once we got that corner, I was only focused on the ball going in,” Abraldes said. “It was a big relief.”
Sachem East didn’t slow down after Abraldes’ goal, padding the lead nine minutes later as Meghan Higgins found the back of the net on the Flaming Arrows’ 10th corner of the game.
“We practice [corners] a lot and that’s where most of our goals have come from this season,” Higgins said. “Every corner we take, we know we’re threatening.”
The quick scoring helped Sachem East settle into its game plan, spreading the field and controlling possession with quick passes. Abraldes rounded out the offensive outburst, netting an unassisted goal with 14:34 left, while the Flaming Arrows' defense limited Massapequa’s chances in the second half.
Massapequa (11-4) goalie Shannon Creagh finished with nine saves.
“We had to keep moving and shifting,” Moon said. “Field hockey is such a fluky game and it can be one shot and a goal, so we really try to work on movement and going with the ball.”
Now, Sachem East is hoping to keep that offensive mindset, looking to contend for a state championship and erase any lingering memories of last year’s overtime loss in the state semifinals.
“It’s my senior year, so hopefully we just finish it,” Abraldes said. “We want to go further than last season.”