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Jess Oxer's two goals help Friends Academy beat North Shore in Class B debut

Friends Academy midfielder Caroline Sgaglione runs down a

Friends Academy midfielder Caroline Sgaglione runs down a loose ball during the Class C Final against Carle Place on Nov. 3, 2013. Credit: Steven Ryan

It didn't take long for Friends Academy to learn that nothing comes easily in Nassau Class B field hockey.

The Quakers (1-0 Conference I), making their Class B debut Tuesday night after reclassifying from Class C, defeated North Shore, 3-1, at home behind a pair of goals from Jess Oxer. But before Oxer netted her first one 16 minutes into the second half, North Shore (0-1) was the only team on the board, thanks to a Maddy Conklin score two minutes after the break.

"North Shore didn't make it easy," Friends Academy coach Christine Botti said. "They're a very tough team."

The Vikings weren't tough enough to outlast a Quakers program that won every Nassau Class C title from 2005-2012. After tying the score, Oxer deposited a Juliane Florez pass with 15 minutes left to hand Friends Academy a 2-1 lead.

Oxer, a sophomore midfielder, missed most of her freshman season, but Botti was not surprised by the breakout performance.

"She's somebody who we're very familiar with," Botti said. "She has excellent stick work. Today was the first day that she was really involved fully, and she was a great asset to us on the field."

Oxer's ability to handle the stick and move with the ball played a critical role in Friends Academy's attack.

"She was where she needed to be," Botti said. "She supported the forwards. She was able to create space. They got the ball back to her. She has an excellent drive. She was able to capitalize on that today."

In general, Botti said her team played unselfishly. Florez was the tangible proof, with assists to Oxer and Caroline Sgaglione.

"They were really playing together as a team," Botti said. "Instead of taking the shot, Juliane passed it to the girl who was open for the shot. They really played together and were very selfless."

That style of play leading to a win in their Class B debut made for a special night for Botti and the Quakers, who are scheduled to return to action Saturday against Cold Spring Harbor.

"It's definitely an exciting win that we needed," Botti said. "The teams in conference are so strong that every win is exciting and important for postseason."

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