On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Mamaroneck Tigers punched their ticket to the state regional finals with a convincing 1-0 win over Section IX champion Kingston. But despite the win—and the fact that Mamaroneck is just two victories away from an appearance in the state championship game—head coach John Savage admits that his team will need to play much better if they hope to stay alive in the postseason.
Playing against a Kingston team that was willing to load up on the defensive end to limit Tiger chances, Mamaroneck managed just one goal in a game they largely dominated throughout.
“They had 11 kids in the circle, they backed their whole team up and I think they were just hoping to stop us and score a goal on a breakaway,” Savage said. “But we expected to play much better; team-wise, this was probably the worst game we played all year.”
Elizabeth Brissette scored the lone goal for the Tigers who outshot Kingston 11-1. But the team’s sloppy play came as something of a surprise to Savage, who had been pleased with his team’s performance in its previous two playoff games, in which it topped Scarsdale and Horace Greeley 2-0 in the Section I semifinals and championship game, respectively.
“I really liked the way we played against Scarsdale and Greeley; we were playing very good field hockey,” he said. “So to lay an egg like we did [against Kingston] it’s disturbing, and we need to put it behind us.”
The Tigers will be back in action on Nov. 3, when they take on Section II champion Saratoga Springs in the state regional finals at Lakeland High School. The Blue Streaks topped Shenendahowa in overtime to win a section crown before receiving a bye in the regional semifinal round. They are led by forward Lindsay Frank, who Savage believes may be one of the most skilled players the Tigers will square up against this year.
“Frank can go from one end of the field to the other, so we have to do our best not to let her get the ball and make sure she’s double-or-triple teamed if she does,” Savage said.
In the end, Savage said, if his team can muster the same type of effort they did against both Scarsdale and Horace Greeley, the Tigers have a good chance of playing their way into a berth in the state semifinals on Nov. 10.
“Maybe we have to find some Scarsdale jerseys for [Saratoga Springs] to wear,” he said. “That way, we know we will show up.”