Some teams might look at eight days between games as a negative.
But not the top-seeded Pierson/Bridgehampton field hockey team. And certainly not after an impressive 9-2 win against No. 2 Port Jefferson in the Suffolk C field hockey championship game at Diamond in the Pines on Friday.
It was the most goals scored by Pierson/Bridgehampton this season. (Twice the Whalers had scored five.) The nine goals tied East Hampton for the highest offensive output by a Suffolk field hockey team this season. (East Hampton scored nine times on Sept. 15.) The Whalers (11-4) had not played since last Wednesday, Oct. 19, a 2-1 win against Harborfields.
“We worked on our passing this week at practice,” Whalers senior Ana Sherwood said, “and it helped us to be quicker and score more.”
Early and often. The Whalers jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But Long Island’s leading scorer, Port Jeff’s Jackie Brown, scored on a breakaway to make it 2-1. Pierson/Bridgehampton rallied and scored a pair of late goals to take a 4-1 lead into halftime.
The Whalers left little doubt for a comeback with the first four goals of the second half, and the game was never in question. Sherwood had four goals and one assist, and fellow senior Cali Cafiero added three goals and one assist. Autumn Street had one goal and two assists, Hollie Schleicher dished out three assists, and Paige Schaefer chipped in one goal and one assist.
It’s hard to believe the Whalers had been sputtering, in terms of scoring, according to their coach Bethany Semlear.
“We’ve had had some struggles this season on offense,” Semlear said. “We worked a lot on executing this week at practice, and today, everything just really clicked.”
The Royals’ Brown scored the other Port Jeff goal and ended her brilliant senior season with Island-best numbers in goals (31) and points (34). Port Jefferson (8-7) was looking for its first Suffolk C crown since its run of four straight titles from 2006-09.
The Whalers, who have won three of the last four Suffolk C titles, face the winner of Wednesday’s Nassau C title game between No. 1 Carle Place and No. 2 Oyster Bay for the Long Island Class C championship game on Nov. 5 at Adelphi at 5 p.m.
“Something is growing and happening quickly, and we’re clicking in the right areas,” Sherwood said. “With nine goals today were are not to be overlooked. We’re going to give everything we’ve got. We’re willing to fight and leave everything out there on the field.”