Northport Tigers take on Commack Cougars
By Steven Zaitz
Northport’s All-American field hockey goalkeeper Natalie McKenna needed a little change of scenery on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
So, with her Lady Tigers comfortably ahead of the Commack Cougars, she took off her mask and goalie pads and moved out of her cage to play a little forward.
“My teammates were trying to get me the ball,” McKenna said. “It would have been nice to have scored. Maybe next time.”
Her twin sister Olivia did score — three times as a matter of fact — in Northport’s 12th win of the season. They have now won 45 straight games dating back to the 2020 season after winning Oct. 11, 6-0. Commack drops to 3-9.
“I was trying to get Natalie the ball,” Olivia said. “I wanted her to score more than I wanted myself to score.”
Julia Cavallo, Sophia Cox and Emma McLam also scored for the Lady Tigers who peppered Cougar goalkeeper Sophia Newman with 31 shots on goal, six of which were taken by Natalie in the final eight minutes of the game. Sydney Wotzak had two assists as did McLam. Emma Fabrizio and Mackenzie Maniscalco had one assist each for Northport.
But the offensive ‘star’ was Natalie who was a menacing presence in front of Newman’s net as soon as she took her pads off. Northport’s bench and the fans in the stands were ready to explode in the event that she scored. It was not meant to be on this day.
“Every goalie I’ve ever coached wants to play up and score,” said Northport assistant coach Libby Courtemanche. “She had a few good chances.”
Perhaps Natalie will get another chance as the Lady Tigers continue their quest for a second consecutive New York State title against Riverhead on Oct. 13 at home. The Lady Waves are 2-11. The Cougars will play Half Hollow Hills the same day at Commack.