Kate Ciarlo and Nicolette Buffolino know each other's tendencies.
“We’ve been starting on offense together since sophomore year,” said Ciarlo. “She [Nicolette] is so smart and we work incredibly well together to finish our shots.”
The senior forwards led a potent Massapequa offense on Sunday as Ciarlo scored the first three goals, all assisted by Buffolino, to propel top-seeded Massapequa to a 5-1 victory over Baldwin in the Nassau Class A field hockey final at Massapequa's Berner Middle School.
Massapequa (10-7) got off to a bit of a slow start with a scoreless first quarter. After a timeout was called in the second quarter, they began to establish their offensive firepower.
“That timeout was crucial,” said coach Morgan Ortega. “They are a team that comes out at 100%. Once they took a moment to remind themselves what they were playing for, they went out there and sparked the win.”
Buffolino found Ciarlo on three separate occasions before halftime to give Massapequa a 3-0 lead. Buffolino then put Massapequa ahead 4-0 midway through the third quarter when she slotted Reagan Taylor’s corner into the goal.
“I was working on taking quality shots and dodging the goalie because she was giving us a lot of pressure,” Buffolino said.
Midfielder Bella Gorgone tallied Massapequa's final goal as time expired in the third quarter. Megan Englehart scored with four minutes remaining and goalkeeper Angelina Feeney made 13 saves for Baldwin (3-12).
Massapequa will meet Northport in the Long Island Class A final at Berner Middle School on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The two teams faced off last year for the same title, with Northport prevailing 7-0.
Buffolino said: “This win has given us fuel, and we will come out stronger to begin the next game."