By Bill Landon
Shoreham-Wading River was on a hot streak — scoring 27 goals in the first three games of the field hockey season, all of which were shutouts. That spotless streak came to an end with a 3-1 loss to a tough Harborfields team Sept. 12.
“We were very worried and concerned about Shoreham,” Harborfields head coach Lauren Desiderio said. “They were blowouts, and that’s beyond impressive.”
The Tornadoes showed no worry or concern, as midfielder Gianna Bifulco dished the ball off to forward Jenelle Bennardo for the first goal of the game 11 minutes in. Not used to playing on grass, the Wildcats seemed to struggle.
“The ball moves very slowly on grass, and everyone reaches the ball more quickly. but I think we adjusted well in the second half,” Shoreham-Wading River junior Michele Corona said. “We just needed to talk more towards the end and we need to work on that in our next game.”
Opportunity came knocking again for Harborfields, and Sarah DeVito answered for a 2-0 lead with 11:26 left in the half.
“I’m not going to lie, I was really intimidated when we were told what their record was coming in,” DeVito said. “And all day in school, especially in math class, every couple of questions the numbers zero, three and 27 would pop into my head.”
On a penalty shot, Harborfields Sarah Gray put her team out front 3-0.
“We thought we were on the lower end,” said Gray. “But we were excited to get in the game and show them that we’re here to play.”
The Wildcats had no answer by halftime, but with 16:03 left in regulation, Harborfields went a man down, and Shoreham-Wading River looked to capitalize, but squandered the opportunity.
“They have a lot of skilled players and they’re very fast,” Harborfields Desiderio said. “They have skilled players and they did a good job putting pressure on us. I was pleased with our transition.”
Shoreham-Wading River found the box nine minutes later when Corona’s solo shot took the zero off the scoreboard to close the gap, but the team would come no closer.
With the win Harborfields improves to 2-1 and will see action today, Sept. 14 at Greenport-Southholdat 4:30 p.m. Shoreham-Wading River hits the road the same day to face Miller Place at 5:45 p.m.
“We’re so used to playing on a smooth surface we’re a passing team and that’s much more effective on turf,” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Jenna Stevenson said. “It’s our first loss of the season and we’ll look to see where our weaknesses were in this game and improve — get back on a winning streak.”