During halftime of a scoreless game, Carle Place goalie Megan McGuinness told Julia Pascarella, “you have to score.”
The sophomore forward followed her captain’s orders and scored off a corner with 7:08 remaining in the Frogs’ 1-0 win over Bronxville in the southeast regional Class C field hockey championship game at Patchogue-Medford High School on Saturday.
“She did and I was so excited,” McGuinness said.
After spending most of the second half with opportunities in the offensive zone, Pascarella hit the ball hard into the back of the cage, sending Carle Place to the state Class C semifinals.
“We didn’t have a lot of time left and we were getting really nervous, but we knew that we had to get it in the back of the net, so we just did everything we could and got it back there and it was really exciting,” Pascarella said.
McGuinness made two saves for Carle Place (10-3). Katie Gordan had seven stops for Bronxville.
The Frogs fell in the first round of the state tournament last season.
“After the tough loss last year I feel like we need to come back and take what was ours,” McGuinness said. “It was a long road to get to this point, but since it’s my last year I think this is one of the best seasons and I’m so proud of our team.
For first-year coach Crystal Gray, earning a trip to states feels “unreal.”
“When we first started the season, we had a lot of work to do, and I think the girls knew it, I knew it,” she said. “But they came out every day and they plugged away and they worked hard on one skill at a time each day, and they’ve turned out to become this amazing team that they are now. They’re unstoppable and I’m really proud of them.”
Carle Place will face the winner of Holland Patent and Schuylerville on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Vestal High School.
“We just have to give it our all at states and I’m really excited to see what happens,” Pascarella said.