Lead Stories, Sports

Tigers reach final four

If the Mamaroneck field hockey team somewhat disappointed in its regional semifinal round win over Kingston on Oct. 30, it was a message the team took to heart.

Just four days after a 1-0 victory that head coach John Savage called one of the team’s worst performances of the year, the Tigers showed just how explosive they can be, authoring a dominant showing against Saratoga Springs to top the Blue Streak 2-0 and punch their ticket to the Class A state semifinals.

Brigid Knowles chases down a ball at Lakeland High School. Knowles assisted on the Tigers’ first goal of the game.

From the opening whistle, the Tigers were firmly in control, outshooting Saratoga Springs 12-1 and doubling the number of Blue Streak penalty corners with 12. The ability to finish in the circle was especially important for the Tigers, especially given the team’s relatively listless performance during the week.

“Tuesday wasn’t the best game for us, so we knew we had to make some changes and come out really strong today,” said senior Elizabeth Brissette, who scored both Mamaroneck goals in the second half. “We had a really good game plan for that team today. We worked really hard in practice and I think it paid off.”

Brissette got the Tigers on the board with 20:04 left in the second half, collecting a pass from fellow senior Brigid Knowles off a penalty corner chance. Brissette collected the ball in the midst of traffic in front of the net and was able to beat Blue Streak goalie Kristen Rodecker for the game’s first goal.

“I knew that my player [Elizabeth] knows how to finish in the circle, so I just hit it in the middle and knew that she would be there to put it in,” Knowles said. “That was a huge turning point for us today.”

A few minutes after Brissette’s first goal, the senior was able to extend the Tigers’ lead on a penalty shot. With a two-goal lead—and the defense playing as well as it has all season—the win was all but sewn up for the Section I champions.

“The defense really played great today,” Brissette said. “So offensively, we just knew we had to go out there and do our part.”

With the win, the Tigers move on to the Class A state semifinals where they will play Section IV champion Maine-Endwell on Nov. 10 at Williamsville-North High School near Buffalo. The last time the Tigers reached the state semis was in 2014, when they were able to bring home a state title.

“It feels really good, we haven’t been there since the seniors’ first year,” Brissette said.

“It means a lot being seniors and I know that all the girls who came before us are going to be really proud that we made it back,” Knowles added. “We were able to get here through hard work, and I think that it showed in the way that we played today.”

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