Near the top of the Ward Melville field hockey roster it reads: “Onward+Upward”.
After Saturday night’s 6-0 win against Baldwin in the Long Island Class A field hockey championship at Adelphi’s Motamed Field, that is exactly what the Patriots are going to do.
Ward Melville (20-0) advanced to the state Class A semifinal at Vestal High School and plays Shenendehowa at 10 p.m. next Saturday.
“We have so many talented players,” said senior forward Kassidy Rogers-Healion, who had the first two goals of the game. “If they focus on one player, a number of players can step up.”
Indeed. After the two goals by Rogers-Healion, junior forward Lexi Reinhardt added another with 11:15 left in the first half as Ward Melville led 3-0. The Patriots would score three more times in the second half.
Hannah Lorenzen ended with two goals and one assist, and Kerri Thornton finished with a goal and two assists. Seniors Elizabeth Wang and Kate Mulham each had an assist, and goalie Bella Nelin stopped the only two shots she faced. The Patriots now have outscored their opponents by an 81-6 margin.
Still, it doesn’t sour a great season for the Bruins, who were coming off Wednesday’s 1-0 double-overtime win against Massapequa, which gave them their first Nassau Class A championship since 1998. Baldwin (9-5-1) won back-to-back Long Island Class A crowns in 1992 and 1993.
Meanwhile, Ward Melville has won 10 Long Island Class A titles. (Centereach has the most with 12). The Patriots, who repeated as Long Island A champs, beat Shenendehowa in the state semifinal last season, but lost to Mamaroneck in the state final in double overtime, 1-0.
“We had short-term and long-term goals for this season,” said Lorenzen, a senior midfielder. “First, we wanted to finish with an undefeated regular season, then counties, Long Island, and now a state championship.”
The Patriots will get that chance next weekend upstate.
“Last year was great for us, and I wanted to come up with a motto that would balance us,” Ward Melville coach Shannon (Watson) Sioss said. “We had a great year [in 2015], but this year we are all about onward and upward.”