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Field Hockey

The Northport Lady Tiger field hockey team members are the Suffolk County Class A Champions for the third year in a row.  

They beat the Ward Melville Patriots, 5-1, on Saturday at neutral site Newfield High School in Selden. It was the third time Northport has beaten Ward Melville to win the County Crown.  

Superstar Olivia McKenna scored four goals, and her twin sister Natalie McKenna made eight saves to lead the Northport, who will play for the Long Island championship against Massapequa on Nov. 2 against Massapequa in a rematch of the 2021 L.I.C. 

Charley Mason scored for the Patriots, who finished the season, 17-2 with both losses coming at the hands of Northport. The Lady Tigers remain undefeated in 2022 and have won 51 straight games, dating back to March 2021.

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.

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After a scoreless first half, Ward Melville sophomore Peyton Phillips broke the ice for the Patriots when her shot rocked the box at the 6:46 mark of the third quarter that put her team out front in a home game against Patchogue-Medford Oct. 11.

It was Julia Rotoli’s stick that added the insurance goal courtesy of a Phillips assist to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead to close out the third quarter.

Ward Melville’s relentless defensive pressure shut down the Raider offense in the final quarter for a 2-0 victory in the Division 1 matchup. The win lifts the Patriots to 11-1 for second place, one game behind division leader Northport.

Ward Melville goalie Maggie Padavan had a quiet day protecting the box with one save where the Patriot keepers have allowed only eight goals this season.

With two games remaining before post season play begins, Ward Melville retakes the field Oct. 14 when they host Walt Whitman. Game time is 4:15 p.m.

Fresh off their season opening road win against Copiague, the Newfield Wolverines hosted Smithtown East in their home opener where they struggled against the Bulls potent offense, trailing by two after three quarters of play.

Smithtown East junior Lucy Tomasic’s shot found its mark at the 3 minutes, 24 seconds mark of the second quarter for the Bulls first goal of the game. Teammate Shannon Pettit off an assist from Katie Cummings rocked the box midway through the third quarter for the insurance goal in the 2-0 win in Division 1 play Sept. 7. 

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Having won their New York State Class A field hockey semi-final by five goals the day before against Clarence High School, the Northport Tigers advanced to the championship round on Sunday, Nov. 14, against section 2 finalist Shenendehowa High School.

It would be Olivia McKenna’s stick that made the difference when the Northport midfielder rocked the box off an assist by senior forward Shannon Smith to put the Tigers up 1-0. Although Shenendehowa surged in the third quarter, the Tiger defense was able to keep their opponents at bay for what would be the final score to win the NYSPHSAA Class A tournament.

Senior co-captain Sophia Bica and McKenna were a potent one-two combination where both topped Suffolk County scoring charts with Bica tallying 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points, and McKenna had 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points.

Northport finished their 2021 campaign with a perfect 21-0 record.

It was Northport senior forward Shannon Smith’s stick that broke the ice in the final minute of the first quarter Nov. 2 when her shot rocked the box off an assist from Olivia McKenna. McKenna scored next to put the Tigers up by two goals early in the second quarter. From there Ward Melville had no answer as the Tigers held on to the 2-0 victory and with it, punched their ticket to the Long Island Championship round.

Northport, the Suffolk Class A champions, retake the field Sunday, Nov. 7 at Centereach High School where they’ll face either Massapequa or Port Washington. Game time is 3 p.m.

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Smithtown West (5-7) had their hands full when Sachem East (11-1) came to visit in a Division I matchup where the Bulls struggled to find traction falling to the Flaming Arrows, 5-0, Oct 19. Smithtown West goalie made 10 saves on the day.

The loss all but extinguishes the Bulls from a post-season appearance with one game remaining. Smithtown West will host Pat-Med (7-5) Oct. 21 with a 4:30 start.

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The Ward Melville Patriots were able to contain the Newfield Wolverines in a Division I field hockey game where the Patriots spread the scoring wealth on their way to a 5-0 shut out on the road Sept 24.

Senior midfielder Courtney Quinn broke the ice half way into the opening quarter for the Patriots when her shot found its mark, and Peyton Phillips rocked the box two minutes later for the 2-0 lead.

Ward Melville senior Izzy Paglia scored at the 13 minute, 40 seconds mark of the second quarter along with fellow senior Emily Grillo who drove her shot home for a 4-0 Patriots lead at the half.

Patriots Olivia Comerford the sophomore rounded out the scoring with 3:38 left in the game for your 5-0 final. Goalie Molly Treder had a quiet day in net for the Patriots with one save.

The win lifts the Patriots to 5-1. The team was back in action Sept 28 with a road game against Bay Shore. Newfield drops to 2-4 in league and returned to the field the same day where they hosted Smithtown East.

After a COVID-shortened fall season four months ago, Northport hosted the Rocky Point Eagles in what should be a full slate of games for the upcoming campaign. It was a non-league season opener which pitted the Tigers, a Divison I powerhouse, who finished the regular season last (year) at 12-1, against the Division II Eagles who finished the previous regular season at 10-2.

The Eagles struggled to stay upfield where Northport slowly closed the door for a 4-0 shutout. Northport junior Sydney Wotzak scored twice along with Hailey Roethel and Olivia McKenna with a goal apiece.

Rocky Point goalie’s Molly Luchsinger had seven saves on the day, and Maddie Zarzycki stopped six. The Eagles are back in action Sept. 1 where they host Pierson Bridgehampton at 4:30 p.m. with Northport facing Walt Whitman the following day at home with a 4 p.m. start.

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The Ward Melville Patriots field hockey team showed why they sit atop the Division I leaderboard in a home game against Sachem North controlling the tempo of the game from the opening possession dowsing the Flaming Arrows, 4-0, April 8. 

Sophomore Jaedyn Scarlatos’ stick spoke first when her shot found the back of the box at the 4 minute, 21 second mark in the first quarter. Ward Melville senior forward Jill Calaci’s shot found its mark for the insurance goal as time expired in the third for a 2-0 lead. 

With 5 minutes and 18 seconds left in the game, Scarlatos struck again to put the Patriots out front by three. Sachem threatened briefly in the final minutes but the Patriots pressure was too much when Olivia McCulloch rocked the box in the final seconds to put the game away. 

Ward Melville senior Amanda Lee had an assist for the Patriots, and goalie Bella Ospitale, a junior, had three saves on the day. 

The win lifts the Patriots to 11-1 with two road games remaining before post season play begins April 16, where Patriots seeding earns them a bye in the opening round. In this COVID-compressed season, venues and times have yet to be determined.