A wildly successful season for the Mamaroneck field hockey team came to an end on Nov. 10, as the Tigers dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker in the Class A state semifinals to eventual champion Maine-Endwell at Williamsville-North High School. Although Mamaroneck may not have faced much adversity in a stellar campaign that saw them compile an 18-3-1 record, it was a few unlucky bounces that ultimately conspired to dash the local squad’s title hopes.
Anna Castaldo gave the Spartans an early lead on a deflection, but Mamaroneck was able to tie the score with two minutes left in the half on a goal by standout Elizabeth Brissette. Unfortunately for the Tigers, however, a second deflection made its way past goalie Sam Maresca eight minutes into the second half that would prove the contest’s decisive goal.
Maresca finished with 10 saves on the afternoon, earning high praise from Mamaroneck head coach John Savage even in defeat.
“Sam made all the saves she had to, she had a great day,” Savage told the Review. “That second deflection, the way it came from the side, nobody would have had a chance to save it.”
But the unlucky bounces plagued Mamaroneck on the other end of the field as well, as the Tigers were unable to capitalize on several good scoring opportunities, especially early in the game.
“In the first minute we crossed the ball over to the right side, they had nobody over there and the ball just kind of bounced over our stick,” Savage said. “Especially so early on, if we score there, I think it’s a different game.”
After the final whistle sounded, Savage was quick to remind his girls that a few tough hops should not define the season.
“What you have to do is put the whole body of work against those 60 minutes,” he said. “The fact that it didn’t go our way can’t take away from what this team was able to accomplish.”
The Spartans would go on to beat Williamsville North 4-1 the following day to win the state title.
As the Tigers look ahead to the future, they will have to replace eight senior starters that have undoubtedly put their stamp on the program. Players like Brissette, Brigid Knowles, Sophie Leighton, Caroline Allen and others, have continued the proud tradition of Mamaroneck field hockey and cemented the Tigers as one of the preeminent programs in Section I.
“This senior group ranks among the top groups that I’ve ever had and they’ve really raised the bar,” Savage said. “My hope is that they have taught the sophomores and the juniors what it takes to get up to states and hopefully motivate them heading into next year.”