Lakeland Survives Scare from John Jay, 3-2, Remains Unbeaten
By Tony Pinciaro
LAKELAND is not the type of team to look ahead to an opponent. After all, it is the opposition that always has Lakeland circled on its schedule since the nine-time defending NYS Class B champion Hornets have not lost to a Section 1 opponent since 2008.
However, when the Hornets received their 2018 schedule they could not help but notice John Jay-Cross River. John Jay has quietly established itself as a rising power in Section 1 Class B field hockey and in 2017 the Indians advanced to the sectional semifinals.
“Based on our team’s knowledge of John Jay we viewed this as a big game in our regular season because we knew that they were going to be a very strong team,” senior Julia Cummings said. “We knew that they were going to bring high intensity and big competition. We also knew their record going in, but we focused more on being able to match their intensity and speed of play.”
The game featured two undefeated teams and, most likely, the eventual top two seeds in the Section 1 Class B Field Hockey Championships. As a result, it was an outstanding game with Lakeland breaking a tie in the second half for a 3-2 victory.
Coupled with a 6-0 win over Rye, Lakeland is now 12-0 this season and on track to receive the No.1 seed in sectionals.
Erin Daly scored the decisive goal, tipping in a Julianna Cappello shot. Jenna McCrudden and Cappello also had Lakeland goals.
John Jay did accomplish two things against Lakeland. The Indians scored twice, which is two times as many goals Lakeland has allowed in a game. And the Indians had the game even at 1-1 and 2-2. Usually, Lakeland opponents are only tied at 0-0 before the opening whistle.
Even though John Jay tested Lakeland, the Hornets were more than prepared for this. Earlier this season, Lakeland faced a similar experience against defending Section 1 Class A champion Mamaroneck in a 2-1 victory. Lakeland is also used to this type of game come sectional and state-playoff time.
“This game was played with sectional intensity,” said Cummings, who also had an assist against John Jay. “It was played at a very high speed and the ball was on both sides of the field, in both offensive circles.
“When you are playing hard game, like this, this says that keeping our composure and playing calm is crucial when playing hard games. We don’t get caught up in the hype of the game; we try to stay focused and composed which shows that our mental fortitudes must be strong and we must stay focused on what we are doing in order to be successful.”
Lakeland has four games remaining in the regular season –Walter Panas, Hen Hud, Our Lady of Lourdes and Brewster – before sectionals commence in two weeks. The Hornets know there is a real possibility that John Jay will be seeded second and a rematch would be slated for the sectional final. As a result, Lakeland wanted to win, but the Hornets also came away motivated.
“Because this was a possible preview of the section final it was very important that we won that game,” Cummings said. “It definitely makes us more confident, but it also teaches us what we might need to alter to improve our play in order to possibly meet them again. It’s great motivation for us to keep working hard. I think that there is a possibility we play them again. I am very excited to see them again and play an even stronger, more intense game. My teammates and I will keep working hard and preparing for our upcoming games.”
Lakeland, which has defeated Rye in each Section 1 Class B final dating back to 2009, received two goals from Emma Halderman and Cappello. Cappello has a team and Section 1-leading 21 goals and Halderman now has nine goals this season.
Keirra Ettere and Kiera Wax each had a goal and Cummings and McCrudden had two assists apiece. Cummings and Cappello have a team-best 14 assists apiece.
PUTNAM VALLEY sandwiched a win over Hastings, 7-0, around tough losses to Pawling, 2-1, and Edgemont, 3-2.
In the win over Hastings, the Tigers received goals from seven players — Jess Marro, Julia Cunningham, Maddie DeVito, Danielle Cunningham, Ciara McGinty, Colleen Cassidy, and Cyera Daughtry. Isabel Healy stopped two shots to register her first varsity shutout.
Katie McLean had both goals against Edgemont with Antonia DiBullo and Danielle Cunningham recording assists.
Sara Lussier scored against Pawling with Danielle Cunningham assisting. Sabrina Cross made 10 saves for Putnam Valley.
Panas posted an impressive 2-0 win over Yorktown on goals by Maria Zeman and Brianna Viola. Jaime Griffin assisted on Zeman’s goal.
CARMEL did some major damage in a 6-1 win over MAHOPAC, doing so behind a four-goal effort from Caitlin Tully, who was clearly the top athlete on the field that day.
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