Someone accidentally triggered the national anthem during Friday's Bay Shore-Ward Melville matchup -- a 10-second burst of "The Star-Spangled Banner'' that almost immediately was followed by Emily Rogers-Healion's goal off a feed from Kim Geiger. The score made it a four-goal lead with 24 seconds left in the first half, but already it was obvious: This was just the Patriots' day.
Need more proof?
How about the fact that Ward Melville (10-0, 8-0) beat previously undefeated Bay Shore, 10-8, to take full possession of first place in Division I, or that Rogers-Healion finished with four goals, or even that Samantha Scarfogliero ended her postgame celebration with a prom date.
"It's all just awesome," said Scarfogliero, who came off the field to a poster that read, simply, "Sam, Prom?"
The outlook wasn't always quite so sunny. Though Ward Melville led 7-2 at the half, Bay Shore (8-1, 8-1) came out strong in the second, with back-to-back goals by Kyra Harney to draw within three. Two subsequent Ward Melville yellow cards put the Patriots two players down and opened the door for the Marauders, who cashed in on Kaitlyn Arnold's free position to make it 7-5 with 17:09 to play.
That's as close as they would get, as Rogers-Healion and Bay Shore's Caroline deLyra exchanged scores before Geiger made it 9-6 with 7:37 to go. DeLyra (three goals, two assists) scored twice more in the final 6:35, but Hur's goal with 3:33 left and a forced turnover by the Patriots' Jordan Porretto in the final 40 seconds sealed the victory.
"We were getting really tense and they were getting really angry in the second half," Geiger said. "It's a big relief."
One of the keys, Rogers-Healion said, was being able to respond to their defense. "We play a backer defense and they play a backer," she said. "So we knew how to exploit it.
"This is great," she added. "If you told me at the beginning of the season that the team would be this good, I wouldn't have believed you."
The Patriots, who have now allowed 6.3 goals per game, were facing a team that came into the day scoring close to 17 goals per game and the key, Scarfogliero said, "was to stay tight on defense, attack on transition, mark up on your jerseys and work harder to stop them."
Gotcha. But what about that other thing?
"Yes," she said, fully giddy. "I said yes to prom."
Bay Shore 2 6
Ward Melville 7 3
Catalano 1g 1a
Tilley 1g 1a
Geiger 2g 2a
Jehle 5 saves
deLyra 3g, 2a
Arnold 1 g
Teitelbaum - 1 save
Judson - 5 saves