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Lakeland Playing Monopoly, Hornets with 14th-Straight Sectional Title
Putnam Valley Falls Short of First Title Since 2008 in 1-0 Loss to Bronxville
By Tony Pinciaro
Lakeland continued its monopoly on the Section 1 Class B Field Hockey title. As a result of the top-seeded Hornets beating second-seeded Rye, 2-0, host Lakeland won its 14th consecutive Section 1 Class B championship last Saturday.
This is also Lakeland’s 16th sectional crown since 2003. The 2003 and 2006 sectional wins were in Class A, as were the state titles those years.
“Winning a sectional title is always fun,” said Lakeland senior G and captain Celeste Pagliaroli. “But doing it against a great team, with a great team, especially because everyone doubted us, and didn’t know how far we would make it feel more amazing, especially being my last game on this turf.”
Lakeland, now 18-1-1 this season, plays the Section 2 champion, Saturday, at Mahopac High School, at a time to be determined.
The last time Lakeland Coach Sharon Sarsen had a young team was in 2003 with two standout seniors – Andi Coiro and Danielle Fiore – and four freshmen. That team won the Section 1 Class A and New York State Class A titles.
“This season was so very unexpected,” Sarsen said. “The amount of growth individually and as a team was unparalleled. This was the youngest team ever with only two seniors and multiple underclassmen with major roles. We start four sophomores, a freshman and an eighth-grader and they’ve been pushed to succeed and have responded. I’m very proud of every team, but this championships team was a great surprise.”
After a scoreless first half, Emma Numme converted a penalty corner two minutes into the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, Emily Yazzetti doubled Lakeland’s lead on Rye. Bella Basulto assisted on both goals.
“Getting that first corner of the half, then the first goal of the game lit us on fire,” Pagliaroli said. “I always say to them, be the first and everything will go our way, and it did.”
Trusted with a one-goal lead, Lakeland’s defense blanketed Rye, short-circuiting the Garnets’ high-powered offense.
“Rye has a very talented attack and having that one-goal lead, we knew we needed to take away two key players and somehow still manage to get another goal just for wiggle room and we did that as well,” said Pagliaroli, who made five saves.
Lakeland reached the Class B final for the 15th consecutive year with victories over No.16 Nanuet (8-0) and No.8 Somers (9-0), the first two rounds. Lakeland faced No.4 John Jay-Cross River in a semifinal. The teams played to a 2-2 draw during the regular season. Lakeland would prevail, 3-1, behind one goal and one assist apiece from Gabby Santini and Numme.
“The first time we tied it was the beginning of the season so we were just getting used to each other,” said Pagliaroli of the draw with John Jay. “I don’t think we needed to make any adjustments. We just got better as a team.”
A strong finish to the 2021 season propelled PUTNAM VALLEY into 2022 riding momentum. The Tigers established themselves as one of the top teams in Class C and a bonafide sectional contender.
Putnam Valley went 9-3-4 for the regular season and were seeded second in the Section 1 Class C Championship. The Tigers opened with a 5-0 win over Valhalla and then shut out No.3 Hastings, 3-0, in a semifinal. This gave Putnam Valley its first berth in a sectional final since the Tigers, led by Ashley Morgan, won the 2008 Section 1 Class B title over Lakeland.
Bronxville, seeded fourth, scored in the second half and then held off Putnam Valley for a 1-0 victory.
“In big games, it comes down to the team that makes less mistakes and Bronxville capitalized on that,” said captain and junior Ava Harman.
Now that Putnam Valley played for a sectional title, Harman and her returning teammates in 2023 want another final appearance.
“Competing this year gave us the experience and the drive,” Harman said. “This season proved that the work we put in during the offseason paid off. We are here to play and will continue to be.”
In the Tigers’ semifinal win, Ava Buerkle, Gaby Alvarez and Harman each had one goal and one assist.
Kylie Recuppio made 10 saves to register her second consecutive sectional shutout.
Izzy Cerrato paced the Tigers with two goals against Valhalla. Harman added one goal and three assists and Alvarez and Buerkle had a goal apiece.
HORACE GREELEY had another excellent regular season with a 12-1-2 record, which earned the Quakers the third seed in the Section 1 Class B Championship.
The Quakers blanked No.14 Ursuline and No.6 Pelham, in the first two rounds. Second-seeded Rye brought Greeley’s season to a close with a 2-0 victory in a semifinal.
Greeley finished with a 14-2-2 record, overall.
“I’m really proud of my squad this year,” Greeley Coach Suhk Singh said. “We have a very young team. We improved greatly over the course of the season. We are only losing two seniors this year.”
Abigail Dolan had a hat trick and Lilah Tainsky added a goal against Pelham. Nina Byrne and Dolan collected assists.
YORKTOWN had its finest regular season in recent memory as the Cornhuskers went 11-2-1.
This gave Yorktown the fifth seed in the Section 1 Class B Championship.
After the Cornhuskers opened with a 2-0 victory over No. 12 Panas, they were defeated, 8-1, by No. 4 John Jay-Cross River.
Yorktown completed one of the finest seasons in program history with a 12-3-1 record, overall.
“This was our best season thus far,” said Yorktown Coach Courtney Hyndman, who was named coach of the year in Class B. “Coach Jess (Esteves) and I couldn’t be more proud of the team and leadership this season. We definitely had our ups and downs but, as a whole, the girls really came together and had a successful season. We will miss our seniors dearly but are excited to continue to build the program here at Yorktown.
Ellie Glicksman scored against John Jay, assisted by Gianni Altimari. Maeve Ryan was excellent in goal with 21 saves.
WHITE PLAINS was seeded sixth in the Section 1 Class A Championship and opened with a 5-1 win over No.11 Ossining.
The Tigers faced No.3 Clarkstown South in a quarterfinal and the Vikings prevailed, 4-3.
“Our game against Clarkstown South was so close,” White Plains Coach Kasey Rubenstein said. “We were down at the half 1-0. Later, we went down 3-0 before we scored two goals within 90 seconds of each other to make it 3-2. It was a lot of back and forth after that. It was a hard-fought game both ways.”
Brianna Hanratty, Alivia Alexander and Courtney Austin scored against Clarkstown South. Sophia Emmert and Alexander had assists.
Chloe Ryan led the offense against Ossining with two goals and Sophia Emmert added one goal and two assists.
Stella Gould and Hanratty each had one goal and one assist and Alexander added an assist.
SOMERS was in the unenviable position of drawing the eighth seed in the Section 1 Class B Championship.
The Tuskers beat No.9 Pearl River, 2-1, in the first round on goals by Emily Esposito and Julia Vecciarelli. This victory sent Somers into the quarterfinal round where it lost to top-seeded and 13-time defending Section 1 Class B champ Lakeland.
The Tuskers finished with an 8-8-2 record, overall.
“Our team worked well together and had a great bond this season,” Somers Coach Amy Magaletti said. “They pushed each other and wanted to improve every day. Our seniors are going to be greatly missed. We are looking forward to a great session next year.”
PLEASANTVILLE won its league title and was seeded sixth in the Section 1 Class C Championships.Third-seeded Hastings ended Pleasantville’s season with a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinal round.
Mackenzie Ennis scored for Pleasantville and Natalie O’Malley assisted. Chloe Egan made 11 saves as the Panthers finished with a 7-7-3 record.
FOX LANE was seeded fourth in the Section 1 Class A Championship, but the Foxes were upset by Suffern, 1-0, in overtime of a quarterfinal game.
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