SYRACUSE - Hey, daydreams do come true.

Katherine Matthers zones out briefly before games, lowers her lids and imagines scoring big goals. Here's to the power of positive thinking.

Matthers, a defender-turned-midfielder, again supplied the offense as Pierson/Bridgehampton beat previously undefeated Barker, 1-0, Friday in the state Class C field hockey semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse.

The freshman, blushing afterward, said her teammates wanted her to score again after she got her first two career goals in a 2-0 win in the L.I. Championship last Sunday.

"Sariah Cafiero said, 'Katherine, do it again,' and I did the same thing I did last time," said Matthers, who was playing offense for only the second time. "I envisioned it and it happened again."

With 27:14 left Friday, Lilah Yardley skipped a short pass to Matthers about 10 feet to the right of the cage and Matthers, whom coach Shannon Judge said has "perfect placement on corners," then perfectly placed a shot into the left corner. It was only the third goal Barker (17-1) had allowed this season.

Barker had little difficulty breaching the circle during the first half, but was repeatedly repelled. Alexa Lantiere, Nina Hemby, Kasey Gilbride and Lindsay Warne were "tremendous" on that end, Judge said.

Pierson (13-7) controlled most of the second half, but Barker had its chances late, including four penalty corners. "We really didn't want overtime," said Catherine Musnicki, who made seven saves. She killed two of the corners with diving stick saves - a move the first-year goalkeeper picked up only two weeks ago.

And Saturday, before facing Cazenovia at 10 a.m., the Whalers can close their eyes a moment and visualize this: picking up their first-ever state championship plaque. They're a step away from that reality.

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