Gianna McKeough and Carle Place had tried time after time to find the back of the net against Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Charlotte Johnson.
But Johnson resembled a stout wall, and would not yield easily.
“I had missed so many chances,” McKeough said, “I knew I had to put it in.”
The sophomore forward took a pass from senior midfielder Samantha Reed and finally beat Johnson with 13:31 remaining as Carle Place earned a thrilling 1-0 win in the Long Island Class C championship at Adelphi’s Motamed Field on Saturday.
Carle Place, which avenged last season’s loss to Pierson/Bridgehampton in the C title game, advanced to the state Class C semifinal and faces Whitney Point at Maine-Endwell High School at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Interestingly, McKeough and Johnson had been teammates for years with East End field hockey, a Suffolk club team.
“I knew I had to lift the ball on her,” McKeough said, “because she usually stays low.”
But on the winning goal, the girl that teammates and family call “GG” changed things up against Johnson (16 saves).
“I just hit it in,” said a smiling McKeough, who now has 12 goals and 18 points this season.
Reed added: “We always look for each other.”
But Reed, a senior co-captain, was quick to say the Frogs (13-1) are more than a two-player show.
“It’s not just about us,” Reed said. “It took all of us to get here.”
More importantly, it took a team effort to follow Frogs coach Carol Nesdill’s game plan to near perfection: keep the ball along the sidelines and away from the Whalers’ best player, Ana Sherwood.
It worked. Pierson/Bridgehampton (11-6) registered just one shot for the entire game, which came with 23:40 left.
Carle Place, which last won a Long Island Class C title in 2014, has dominated the class with 15 championships — the most of any C program.
“We’ve been talking about this all season,” said Reed, who has 10 assists and 16 points this season. “We told each other we don’t want to cry again like last year, we want to cry happy tears.”