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Gerasci's OT winner sends Massapequa to Class A title

Molly Gerasci #25 of Massapequa, right, reacts after

Molly Gerasci #25 of Massapequa, right, reacts after her game-winning in overtime that lifted the Chiefs to a 2-1 win over Port Washington in the Nassau County varsity field hockey Class A final at Berner Middle School in Massapequa on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Credit: James Escher

Molly Gerasci looked up the field, saw a few inches of green and ran as fast as she possibly could.

The Massapequa junior moved toward the net, waiting for the pass and hoping she’d be able to find the back of the net. She did. Gerasci scored just over two minutes into overtime, lifting the top-seeded Chiefs to a 2-1 victory over Port Washington in the Nassau A championship at Berner Middle School and capturing the team’s second straight county title.

“We all started at the center of the field and we had a really good passing combo,” Gerasci said. “Sophia Theodorous found me and we all pushed up the field together.”

Massapequa (8-7) took an early lead, on Claire DeSilva’s first-half goal, but Port Washington rallied down the stretch, tying the game with 15:07 left as Tobey Tick scored on a corner. Still, the Chiefs never lost their confidence and as the game moved to OT, the squad focused on its next opportunity.

“We’ve played OT a few times, so we knew what to expect,” Massapequa coach Melodee Ahrens said. “When we selected our players, I said let’s put Molly in right away because she’d sat a lot in the second half and I knew she was fired up.”

Field hockey overtime plays with only six field players, instead of the usual ten, a change that, Gerasci said, helped open the field for Massapequa. Port Washington (5-8) took control on the first possession of OT, but Massapequa’s midfield held strong, turning the field and giving the Chiefs a chance to push tempo.

“We knew all along this was our game,” Gerasci said. “We just had to put it together and get that one, big push.”

Massapequa heads back to the Long Island championship to take on either Sachem East or Northport on Nov. 3 at Berner. The Chiefs know that won’t be an easy game either, but the squad is confident after its OT showing and determined to get back to work.

“Moving forward we have a lot of different things to focus on,” Ahrens said. “Suffolk plays a little differently, but we’ll be ready.”

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