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Sachem North field hockey team has eye on deep playoff run

Sachem North's Carolyn O'Brien plays the ball in

Sachem North's Carolyn O'Brien plays the ball in the air while being covered by Smithtown East's Amanda Funaro in the first half during the Suffolk field hockey game between Smithtown East and Sachem North on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at Smithtown East. Credit: Bob Sorensen

The Sachem North field hockey team has finished the regular season with its best record in three years at 11-3 in Suffolk I.

The No. 5 Flaming Arrows will host No. 12 Newfield in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday. Sachem North beat Newfield, 5-0, in the regular season.

After falling to Northport, 3-0, in the second round of the playoffs last season, Sachen North coach Carly Sharp said the team would like to make it even further this postseason.

“Their huge goal is to make it past the second round of playoffs this year,” Sharp said. “They would like to definitely do that. There’s so much potential, all of our girls. Our goal is to play to the best of our ability and just come prepared, be ready and step up to the challenge.”

For Sachem North, 13 of its 19 players will not be returning because of graduation. This is their time.

“The program has seen so many positive happenings over the last few seasons,” Sharp said. “These seniors have made the team what it is today. Losing 13 seniors is obviously going to pose several challenges next year, with more than half of them on our starting lineup. We will miss them, but we know their legacy will be carried on through the underclassmen who have shared the field with them.”

Sharp attributed the team’s quickness and passing skills to their advantage. Dating back to Sept. 20, the Flaming Arrows have outscored opponents, 48-16. Entering the playoffs, they are wiping the slate clean, Sharp said.

Junior Carolyn O’Brien, who leads the team in points with seven goals and 10 assists, said off-field communication has translated to chemistry on the field.

“Most of us have been playing together for the past three years, so we have very strong relationships with each other on and off the field,” O’Brien said. “That definitely translates on the field through our communication and just knowing that everyone has your back. I think that because we are so comfortable with each other we are able to succeed.”

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