Ward Melville's Kelsey Catalano takes a shot against Bay Shore....

Ward Melville's Kelsey Catalano takes a shot against Bay Shore. (Oct. 15, 2013) Credit: Bob Sorensen

Kelsey Catalano drove to her right and drew press coverage. She then pulled back, quickly crossed over and passed to herself between an opponent's legs to create an opening, and hit a shot from the post.

Then Katie Koester showed off her ballhandling skills, shaking herself free with a step-back move before firing from the outside.

And Maggie Vachris did the same, scoring on a stutter-step drive to her right.

No, basketball season hasn't started yet, but it was showtime for Ward Melville field hockey, which rebounded from a poor start to earn a shootout victory over Bay Shore, 3-2, Tuesday in Division I.

"You just have to read the goalie and know where the opening is," Catalano said. She got the Patriots on the board in the shootout and Sam Marfoglio made four of her 11 saves in the extra session. "We practice it a lot so we all know we can do it," Catalano said, "and we trust our goalie when it matters."

Kyra Harney and Haleigh Rock scored in the shootout for the Marauders (8-3).

Field hockey this year went away from the conventional penalty-stroke round, which used to decide games that went beyond overtime. Instead, each team now selects five players to go one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper. The offensive player starts from the 25-yard line and has 10 seconds with which to make a move and attempt to score.

"This is our second time doing it," Patriots coach Shannon Watson said, referring to her team's shootout win over Northport earlier this month. "Since they've changed the system, we've been working on it almost every day and it paid off."

The Patriots had beaten Bay Shore, 3-2, in overtime of their last meeting. And this game was no slam dunk for Ward Melville (9-2). It took Bonnie Woods' fast-break goal with 8:14 left to tie it at 2 and force overtime.

She came up with a loose ball near midfield and drove up the right side before a crowd of defenders converged inside the circle. Woods maintained possession and fired from close range, into the right corner, scoring what she said was her first dramatic, tying goal.

"There were a lot of players ahead of me," the junior said, "but I knew I had to stay controlled and composed."

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Woods' goal allowed Ward Melville to collect itself. The Patriots gave up two quick goals in the first half and had come up empty on several of their scoring opportunities late, including five penalty corners.

"Not only were they coming up with goals, we weren't playing as well as we usually do," Vachris said. "Thankfully, when Bonnie scored, we got pumped up and got back into it."

Sam Torrico's goal, off a long cross from Kassidy Rogers-Healion, gave the Patriots a 1-0 lead 9:04 in. But Kyra Harney tied it and Elise Ambos' goal, on a penalty-corner feed from Rock, put Bay Shore ahead with 11:10 left in the first half. Chelsea Lombardo made four saves.

With Ward Melville up 3-2 in the shootout, Marfoglio made a kick save on Bay Shore's final attempt, then booted it out of the circle as time expired.

"She was huge," Vachris said of the goalie. "Her forte is [one-on-one] and whenever we do it, we're confident she's on her game."


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