Kate Mulham doesn’t really care who puts the ball in the back of the net for Ward Melville’s field hockey team.
“It feels the same if I score as if someone else does,” Mulham said, smiling. “We all want it so bad.”
So bad looked so good Tuesday. Mulham scored the game’s first two goals and assisted on another as top-seeded Ward Melville put on a masterful display in a 4-0 win over No. 2 Eastport-South Manor in the Suffolk Class A final at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.
Ward Melville (19-0) advanced to the Long Island Class A championship at 7 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Wednesday night’s Nassau A final between No. 1 Baldwin and No. 2 Massapequa. Both games are at Adelphi.
How dominant were the Patriots? They took 18 corners, compared to none for the Sharks, and 13 shots, compared to just one for the Sharks (in the first half).
“They move the ball so well, and they hustle,” ESM coach Jenna Rickert said of Ward Melville. “They’re like animals, but in a good way.”
Make it a great way, not to mention a quick one. Mulham converted a pass from defender Kaitlin Thornton off a corner to make it 1-0 just 1:07 into the game. Mulham took a feed from Thornton’s sister, Kerri, off another corner 3:48 later and scored her second goal as Ward Melville went up 2-0. Mulham set up Kiera Alventosa for the Patriots’ third goal with 17:48 left in the first half.
From there, it was a beautiful passing and possession game by the Patriots for the rest of the game. Lexi Reinhardt scored her 13th goal with 6:44 remaining. Goalie Bella Nelin turned aside the only shot she faced thanks to defenders Kaitlin Thornton, Kelly Quinn and Rosalie Paglia. Dayna Martinetto made 10 saves for Eastport-South Manor (15-2).
Still, it does not take away from an amazing season for the upstart Sharks, who are only in their fifth year as a program, and second season on the varsity level.
“I’m still shocked, actually, that we got here,” Rickert said. “We were happy to be here, but not happy with the outcome.”
Meanwhile, for the Patriots, the positive outcomes continue.
“It’s such a rush,” said Alventosa, a senior midfielder. “We’ve come together this season, and dedicated ourselves to winning. It’s just an amazing feeling.”