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SportsHigh SchoolField Hockey

It's deja vu as Katherine Matthers scores winner to give Pierson/Bridgehampton LI title

Highlights from Pierson/Biudgehampton's 3-2 win over Carle Place in the Long Island Class c field hockey final. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Let's hop into our imaginary time machine.

It's November 2010 and Pierson/Bridgehampton has just won a Long Island field hockey title. The hero of the game is a freshman defender, recently shifted to the midfield, who scores the winning goal in storybook fashion.

Back to the present: Pierson/Bridgehampton has just won a Long Island title. The hero of the game is a senior defender, shifted to offense, who scores the winning goal in storybook fashion.

Katherine Matthers. Again.

She scored the winner with 5:23 remaining yesterday, lifting the Whalers to a 3-2 victory over Carle Place to capture the program's first Class C crown since 2010.

"It's like a replay of that whole year," said Matthers, who also scored the winner in the state semifinal that season. "It's amazing how similar it is."

Amazing, too, that Matthers has regained her form after another kind of deja vu -- tearing her left ACL twice, in December of her freshman and sophomore years. She and Kasey Gilbride, who scored twice, were named to the all-tournament team Wednesday . . . just as they were in 2010.

Matthers, shifted to left wing late in the game, collected a rebound off a penalty-corner shot and lashed it into the near corner from 5 yards.

Pierson/Bridgehampton (13-4) will face Pawling in the regional final at 1 p.m. Saturday at White Plains High School.

"It's unbelievable to see her do it again, especially knowing what she's been through," defender Kirra McGowin said of Matthers, her best friend. "We trained together, so I got to see her dedication up close. Watching her score that goal, I couldn't have been more excited."

Or relieved. The Whalers applied steady pressure in the second half, but Carle Place's Lydia Rice was masterful with 23 saves, several of them acrobatic stops of close-range shots. Elissa Frein scored twice for the Frogs (11-3), who had won their first Nassau title since 2005.

Gilbride gave Pierson a lead 5:46 before halftime, but Frein tied it three minutes later. She put Carle Place ahead with 18:33 remaining, but Gilbride answered in 48 seconds with a putback off Rice's diving deflection.

All that set the stage for Matthers.

"It's definitely bringing back some memories," Gilbride said. "Really good memories."

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