Julia White couldn’t believe what had happened.
The New Hyde Park senior forward has embraced her role as a leader this season, but last week she added another moniker: late-game hero. White netted the winning goal with 11 seconds left to give the Gladiators a 4-3 victory over Seaford on Sept. 24.
“The feeling that went through my whole body was just pure excitement,” said White, who has racked up eight points, including five goals, in six games this season. “Katrina Rivers came over and hugged me and I was like ‘Oh my God, this is really happening’ and we all started screaming.”
White’s game-clinching goal was a highlight for her this season, but she also said she put in the work leading up to the moment, improving her stick-handling skills and getting around opposing defenders.
“[Before] I’d go straight to the net, just try to dodge, but it wouldn’t always work,” White said. “So, it’s all about stopping, pulling the ball and then exploding. I’ve been kind of aggressive on the field.”
So far, White’s on-field mentality has paid off. She’s currently among the top scorers in Nassau, and New Hyde Park has won its last five games after falling 1-0 to Seaford in its season opener.
White credited the Gladiators for improving “so much more as a team” this year and believes the team is “more comfortable” playing together now. She's hoping for a few more goals and to build on that offensive consistency in the final games of the season.
“Last year we were all kind of fresh,” White said. “This year, though, we’ve got experience and it shows. I know how Katrina plays and how Melanie [Kahn] plays and that really forms our bond both on and off the field.”
After dropping a pair of games at the MAX National Field Hockey Invitational last weekend, Garden City returned to Long Island with three straight shutout victories. The Trojans topped Locust Valley 1-0 on Sept. 23, then defeated Clarke 4-0 on Sept. 25, with four different players scoring. Two days later, they defeated Massapequa, 3-0.
Down to the wire
Half Hollow Hills and Sachem North staged one of the most dramatic games so far this season on Sept. 25, with Hills grabbing a 3-2 victory in a double shootout. Hills won the second round by a score of 4-2 as Kaitlyn Jedreicich, Ashlynn Shumer, Madeline Casamento and Hannah Stein all scored. Shumer also scored for Hills in the first round, which finished 1-1, while Erika Sneider found the back of the net for Sachem North.
Shumer netted both goals for Hills in regulation and Meaghan Avanzato added both goals for the Flaming Arrows, including the game-tying strike with 52.8 seconds left in regulation. Ava Scimone made 16 saves for Hills, and Healy Torres recorded six for Sachem North.
Bayport-Blue Point notched a trio of shutout victories this week, outscoring Rocky Point and Southampton (who the Phantoms played twice) 13-0.
Riley Schultz and Juliana O’Hara led the way for the Phantoms with two goals each and eight different players recorded points in a 7-0 victory at Southampton on Sept. 26. O’Hara followed up with a four-point performance on Sept. 28 in a 5-0 home win against the Mariners.
Bayport-Blue Point now has scored seven goals in a game three times this season.
Between the pipes
North Babylon dropped a 5-0 game to Eastport-South Manor on Sept. 27, but goalie Ashley Kelly still was strong in net with 33 saves. She also had a 17-save performance against Centereach on Sept. 23. Greenport’s Ella Mazzaferro also made her presence known despite a loss, recording 30 saves against West Babylon on Sept. 28.
For a good cause
Northport hosted the third annual Suffolk Field Hockey Play for a Cure event on Sept. 28. The event, which brought together 11 teams, raised over $3,000 for cancer research, according to Northport coach Gina Walling.
“We were using the hashtag #OpponentsTomorrow,” Walling said of the event. “It was amazing. Everyone came in with such a positive attitude and it’s a nice break in the middle of the season.”
Games to watch this week
Harborfields at Miller Place, Wednesday: A rematch of last year’s Suffolk B final, Harborfields comes in riding a five-game win streak and is led by Marina Bergin, who netted three goals last week.
Massapequa at Clarke, Wednesday: Massapequa’s Molly Gerasci has become a goal-scoring threat every game, but keep an eye out for Kelly Rosenfeld, who has eight points — including five assists — this season.
Eastport-South Manor at Ward Melville, Thursday: Jaedyn Scarlotos and Amanda Lee have become a one-two offensive punch for the Patriots, who have now won five in a row (including a 2-1 OT showing against Smithtown East on Sept. 27).
Garden City at Manhasset, Friday: Carly Newman racked up three goals and one assist in Manhasset’s three shutout victories last week.