No athletic achievement can replace the furniture, photographs and mementos superstorm Sandy claimed from Kristin Yevoli's home. But Sunday, at least for a moment, the Massapequa senior was afforded a smile, courtesy of field hockey.
"It's been very stressful," she said of the ordeal, "but it's pushed me to play harder because I'm not just doing it for my team but my whole town."
"We’ve done whatever we can to help, but she's still been there for every practice," Chiefs coach Barbara Lowell said. “Kristin has been there for everything, even though she didn't have to. She’s not the kind of person who lets anything get her down."
Both teams had goals waved off in the first half, resulting in a stalemate until midway through the second half in this rematch of last year’s final.
Lena Pollich, Yevoli's best friend, forced a turnover toward the left sideline and sent a pass inside toward the wing. Yevoli controlled the ball and fired a bullet into the far corner with 18:38 left for No. 1 Massapequa (10-4).
“I didn’t think I’d be the one to score, but I’m really glad it happened,” Yevoli said. “Playing field hockey makes me feel better, actually. It’s been a good distraction for me.”
The Chiefs defense, led by Meghan Porr and Colleen Bourgal, cleared a Vikings penalty corner with four minutes and Cassidy O'Brien made four saves in the shutout.
Kelly McDonough had two saves for No. 2 Port Washington (12-3).
"Kristin deserved to have a game like this," teammate Jamie Ahrens said. "She’s one of the kindest and most dedicated people I’ve ever met. For her family to go through what they’ve been dealing with, and then for her to come out and win the game, she 100 percent deserved it."