Centereach field hockey blanks Port Jeff

Centereach field hockey blanks Port Jeff

Centereach's Paige Emerson fights for possession of the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Being young didn’t stop these Cougars from pouncing onto their prey.

The Centereach field hockey team commanded the field, owned the time of possession and held Port Jefferson scoreless on their own home turf to take a 4-0 victory in nonleague action Saturday. 

Centereach's Lindsey Noack carries the ball toward the cage. Photo by Bill Landon
Centereach’s Lindsey Noack carries the ball toward the cage. Photo by Bill Landon

“This is the first time we’ve played on our own turf and today we clicked,” Centereach head coach Michelle Cocchiaro said. “This afternoon we communicated well, which is something we didn’t do until today.”

A pair of freshman started the scoring for Centereach when forward Caroline McParland’s shot found the back of the cage off an assist by forward and midfielder Sophie Alois for the 1-0 lead.

Port Jefferson head coach Deb Brown said her team is also very young, with one senior and two freshmen on the forward line.

“It’s the first time on turf,” Brown said. “I think they got a little bit tired, but I think we handled ourselves OK. Some of the girls were out of position, and we’re inexperienced on turf.”

Centereach junior Lindsey Noack, a forward and midfielder, answered next when her shot found its mark to help the Cougars edge ahead 2-0.

Noack said her team had good communication on the field with good ball movement, and added that she thought the midfielders were effective in getting the ball to the forwards.

“Today I saw teamwork, which is a big difference from our first scrimmage against Newfield, where we were all over the place,” Noack said. “Today we meshed together and we played as one.”

Centereach junior Paige Emerson, also a midfielder and forward, lit up the scoreboard next with just over three minutes left in the first half.

The Royals spent much of the game on defense trying to contain the offensive pressure, and had few opportunities for shots on goal as a result.

Port Jefferson's Jackie Brown fights to keep the ball in bounds. Photo by Bill Landon
Port Jefferson’s Jackie Brown fights to keep the ball in bounds. Photo by Bill Landon

Port Jefferson junior forward and midfielder Jackie Brown said she thought her team did well despite this being their first game on turf.

“We passed well, but we’re not used to the speed of the ball because we play on grass,” she said, adding that she thinks her team needs to do a better job at cutting in front of the defense as the Royals prepare for their next game against Sayville.

Centereach sophomore forward Jessica Whalen rounded out the scoring for the Cougars with 14 minutes left to play, to give the team a 4-0 advantage, and the game its final score.

With time running out and desperate to get on the scoreboard, the Royals continued to push for a goal until the final horn.

“I thought we did really well, but we have to work on shooting on cage,” Port Jefferson junior defender Isabelle Koutsantanou said. “We have to get better getting our forwards back [faster] to help out on defense.”

Centereach junior defender Cassidy Treanor was also proud of her team’s efforts, especially being an almost completely new team compared to last year’s roster.

“We’re a brand new team — we had 10 seniors graduate last year so literally the junior varsity team is now the varsity team, with four extra players,” she said. “We’re so young and to see the players who are just now freshmen being able to compete with seniors is so big for us. They have such skills for being so young.”