Nearly 30 minutes into their Nov. 1 Class A championship game against Horace Greeley, and Mamaroneck was clearly on the ropes. The Quakers were outshooting the Tigers 6-0, had already amassed three penalty corners, and seemed poised to wrest control of the section from the perennial powerhouse.
But with under a minute to go in the half, Mamaroneck’s Elizabeth Brissette flipped the script, forcing a turnover in the defensive zone, initiating contact in the circle and finding an unlikely angle to sneak a shot through Greeley goalie Willa Kuhn for the game’s first score.
It was Brissette’s goal that would turn things around, as the Tigers went on to dominate in the second half, topping the Quakers 5-0 to win a sectional title.
“A lot happened on that one,” Brissette said. “I was just trying to get a corner, so I just sent it towards the goal and I got a lucky bounce.”
Brissette would finish with three goals on the afternoon, but it was the first one that helped reset the tone for the Tigers.
“I think we were just really hectic and crazy in the beginning and that’s why we were on the defensive,” she said. “But after we scored, we just took halftime to calm down, regain our composure, and that’s how we were able to come out and win.”
Ten minutes into the second half, Emily Mahland extended the Tiger lead, opening the floodgates for a Mamaroneck salvo that would see them score three more times in the ensuing 10 minutes.
“I think we were just thinking about how much we wanted to win the game,” Brissette said. “We had the intensity, but in the beginning, we were just kind of all over the place.”
Freshman goalie Sam Maresca, who finished with 10 saves, stood out on the defensive end, preserving the shutout against an aggressive Greeley attack to contribute to her first sectional title victory.
“It felt amazing, we came to play today and it really showed on the field,” Maresca said. “We expected them to come out ready to play today, and we knew we had to be on top of our game if we wanted to win it.”
With the win, the Tigers advance to the state regional final, where they will take on another New York powerhouse, Section XI champion Ward-Melville. The Tigers and Patriots will square off on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills on Long Island.