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Jennifer Cooney's goal lifts Massapequa to seventh straight Class A crown

Massapequa No. 2 Jennifer Cooney, left, moves the

Massapequa No. 2 Jennifer Cooney, left, moves the ball down field during the Nassau Class A final against Baldwin at Adelphi University on Saturday, Oct.31, 2015. Photo Credit: James Escher

Can you say #Hallowinners?

The Massapequa field hockey team created the hashtag before playing Baldwin Saturday -- Halloween night -- at Adelphi, a little bit of wishful thinking, forward Jennifer Cooney said.

Thanks to Cooney's go-ahead goal, the team can post to Instagram and other social media, just as planned.

Cooney's shot ramped off the stick of a Baldwin defender and into goalie Kailey Brower, who couldn't prevent a goal from trickling in with less than four minutes until halftime.

The Chiefs added another goal in the second half and beat the Bruins, 2-1, to claim their seventh consecutive Nassau Class A Championship.

Asked if she imagined she'd be wearing a field hockey costume on Halloween, Cooney said: "I'd rather be here, this is an incredible feeling. I've never competed in a county championship before. I'm proud of my team, we had some really great passing and communicating."

But it wasn't that way from the start.

Baldwin dominated a fast-tempo game with strong play and long runs through most of the first half. Nadia Elcock was particularly impressive, bouncing the ball in the air off her stick while running 15-20 yards at a time, but failed to get a quality scoring chance.

Massapequa stole momentum when sophomore goalie Kaley Theodorous, making the start in place of injured Laura Marques, made a sliding breakaway save to preserve a lead with a little more than five minutes until halftime. Theodorous also got back into position to kick away the rebound attempt.

The Chiefs took a 2-0 lead after Marisa McLeod finished a bouncing ball on a broken play with 17:23 left in the second, but Baldwin answered seconds later when Olivia Moore was sent ahead by Daniella Specht.

Massapequa regained its poise and controlled the flow of the second half.

Chiefs coach Melodee Ahrens said her team has often started slow this season, but gets stronger and more confident as the game goes on. She added that she told her team the game would depend on "who wanted it more," during a timeout.

"I'm very excited and very pleased with the girls' play tonight," Ahrens said. "They played together. Our passing, never giving up on the ball, seeing the field . . . These girls are on a mission because the season was a little weak and they wanted [county title] No. 7. And they got it. They deserved it and they earned it."

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