By Tony Pinciaro
PUTNAM VALLEY has put itself in a good position in preparation for the 2017 Section 1 Class C Girls’ Lacrosse Championship.
The Tigers are playing their best lacrosse of the year as evidenced by a program-record 10-game winning streak. Putnam Valley closed out the regular season and increased its run with victories over Briarcliff, 16-7, Rye Neck, 12-3, Croton, 17-3, and Valhalla, 13-8, to finish with a 13-3 record. The final record should ensure Putnam Valley a top-four seed in the tournament.
“We learned early what our strengths and weaknesses were and when we did this, our chemistry started to grow, we came together and we started having more fun,” sophomore and midfielder Jacklyn Phillips said.
Putnam Valley had ample reasons to feel good coming into the current season as the only two seasons on the 2016 team, graduated. Thus, the Tigers returned a large, veteran group.
“With the majority of our team returning this year we were all really excited to get back on the field together,” said Phillips, a three-year starter. “We’re all really close friends so we wanted to come out and make a statement for ourselves.”
Putnam Valley has done this, especially on offense where the midfield of juniors Maddie Deegan (56 goals) and Emma Rippon (51 goals), and Phillips (46 goals) have been on a tear. The trio consistently leads the team in scoring each game. What makes them so effective is their unselfishness.
“We work well together and when we look at the field we always find who is having the good game or who is open and we get them the ball,” said Phillips.
Putnam Valley is looking to advance further in sectionals than last year when the Tigers won their first-round game, but lost in the quarterfinal round. Putnam Valley will have the opportunity when the Section 1 Class C Championship begins this week.
Deegan lit up Briarcliff for six goals and added two assists. Rippon contributed four goals, Lindsay Cohen added three goals and Phillips finished with two goals and two assists.
Rippon had the hot hand with six goals and two assists against Croton. Phillips finished with five goals and two assists, Gillian Hanson added two goals and Jessica Denike collected six assists.
Ten different girls scored against Rye Neck, highlighted by two goals apiece Maria Dedvukaj and Colleen Cassidy. Melissa Clements and Rippon each had a goal anD two assists.
The midfield trio of Deegan, Rippon and Phillips combined for 11 goals against Valhalla.
BREWSTER split a pair of games, but the victory was memorable as the Bears doubled up 2014, ’15 Section 1 Class B champion SOMERS, 14-7. John Jay-Cross River then surprised Brewster, 18-15.
“I’m so proud of how the team played against Somers,” Brewster coach Sara DiDio said. “They played a full game and played as a team. From the first draw to the last couple of seconds, we kept our composure and set the tempo of the game early on.
“We had all players contribute in some way. Our attack made smart decisions and defense played as a unit. The girls were prepared and knew who they needed to stop and what needed to be done to pull out the win. Somers is a talented team and it definitely gave my team a boast going in to sectional games.”
Lauren Craft paced the offense with four goals and an assist while Sam DeLeo netted three goals and the trio of Meagan Beal, Maggie DePaoli and Michelle Feighan each had two scores. Danielle Heintz made 12 saves.
Livy Rosenzweig led Somers with five goals and two assists.
John Jay outscored Brewster in a back-and-forth affair. Craft finished with five goals while DePaoli and Beal scored two apiece. Feighan finished with two goals and Dani Regan assisted on four goals.
Brewster concludes the regular season with a 10-6 record and will await its sectional seed.
Somers rebounded to handle LAKELAND/PANAS, 17-6, behind eight goals from Rosenzweig and Lauren Colavito added a hat trick and one assist.
Carlyn Mucci had a team-leading four goals for the Rebels.
Lakeland/Panas opened its week by rallying in the second half to overcome MAHOPAC, 10-8.
The Rebels trailed, 7-5, midway through the second half before finishing with a 5-1 run. Mucci finished with four goals, Emily Kness contributed three and Kelsey McCrudden added two.
Briana Corace and Morgan Kirby each scored two goals for Mahopac and Diana Good added a goal and two assists.
It didn’t get any easier for Mahopac in its next game as the Indians fell to YORKTOWN, 16-4. The Cornhuskers raced out to a big lead in the first half.
“Yorktown’s specialty is their settled offense and we gave them a lot of opportunities to play offense,” Mahopac coach Jim Lieto said. “They were clearly fired up about their senior night and they played a great game.”
Kristen Maxwell had two goals for Mahopac.
Michelle Seger, who notched her 100th career goal in a rout of Ossininig, had five goals and two assists and Rilea Fusco chipped in four goals and two assists for the Cornhuskers. Ellen O’Callaghan and Kelsey McDonnell each had two scores.
Mahopac closed out the regular season with a 14-9 victory over archrival Carmel. The Indians finished 6-0 to win the league title, their third consecutive, and are 9-7 overall.
“Finishing undefeated in our league and winning our third straight league title was a major goal for us this year,” Lieto said. “I am so proud of the girls for accomplishing it. We hope this will propel us into sectionals.”
Mahopac will await its sectional seed to be released this week.
Katie McDonough led Mahopac with three goals and also had two assists. Caroline Raymond, Morgan Kirby, Corace and Good all had two goals.
OSSINING sophomore Jaida Strippoli scored her 100th varsity goal in a 10-8 loss to Byram Hills.