With the way the season started for the Miller Place field hockey team it was only fitting that Wednesday’s Suffolk B final ended like it did.
Taylor Giugliano scored off an assist from Madison Power in the first quarter and the No. 4 Panthers fended off four penalty corners in extended time to capture the Suffolk B title over No. 6 Bayport-Blue Point, 1-0, at Centereach high school. It’s the second championship in three years for Miller Place and the sixth in the last nine.
"We had eight players quarantined and dropped a few games early in the season," coach Alana LaMorte said. "I actually thought this was going to be the first season in Miller Place history we weren’t going to make the playoffs. The first week we had three games and we only had 12 players — it was not easy."
It wasn’t easy Wednesday either, as both teams battled in a back and forth game and Bayport had chance after chance to tie the score on the final play of the game.
Guigliano entered the game with 15 assists, tied with teammate Emily Stoessel for the most in Suffolk, according to Newsday stats.
She’s a really good playmaker and is involved in every single thing we do," LaMorte said. "It was really awesome to see her score."
Her goal came with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter. Guigliano had another goal waived off due to a violation later in the game.
"I like to pass the ball and make plays for my team because I know my forwards will always be there," Giugliano said. "But it feels great to finally get a goal."
Miller Place (12-3) moves on to play Manhasset in the Long Island championship Saturday at Berner Middle School in Massapequa at 10 a.m. Bayport-Blue Point finishes 10-6.
"It means everything to be out there with my team," Power said. "It was great to make it back and now we’re county champs."
Pierson wins Class C
Another season, another Class C title for Pierson.
Eleana Merola had two goals, Emma Rascelles had a goal and an assist and Tahnie Sullivan had two assists as No. 1 Pierson defeated No. 2 Babylon, 5-0, Wednesday to capture their sixth straight Suffolk C championship.
Brooke Esposito, one of only two seniors on the team, also added a goal.
Julia Devoti made 13 saves for Babylon (3-11).
Pierson (8-6) will play Carle Place in the Long Island championship Saturday. It will be the sixth straight season the two teams will play for the Class C title.
"I would consider it a rivalry," Esposito said. "We want to beat them because we’ve lost a bunch of years in a row. I think we can do it this year."