Lady Whalers Field Hockey Cruises Past East Hampton

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Paige Schaefer works the ball downfield. Michael Heller photos

Paige Schaefer works the ball downfield. Michael Heller photos

By Gavin Menu

With visions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump still dancing through their heads, the Pierson/Bridgehampton field hockey team took care of business on Saturday and made Decision 2016 look like an easy one.

The Lady Whalers ran away with this one.

Following morning homecoming festivities that saw students dress up as famous families including the nation’s presidential hopefuls, the Lady Whalers walloped visiting East Hampton by a score of 5-1 to continue their push toward the Class C playoffs and dreams of the program’s second New York State title in three years.

Autumn Street is mobbed by teammates after she scored the Lady Whalers' first goal in their Homecoming match against East Hampton on Saturday.

Autumn Street is mobbed by teammates after she scored the Lady Whalers’ first goal in their Homecoming match against East Hampton on Saturday.

“There’s definitely something brewing here and that’s our goal,” senior Ana Sherwood said about a second run at a state title, which she helped win as a freshman in 2013. “We’ve been trying to work as a unit and over these past few games we’ve started to build on each other. Everything is coming together really nicely.”

The Lady Whalers kicked off homecoming on Friday with a 2-1 win over Shoreham-Wading River, with Cali Cafiero and Ava Lantiere scoring goals. Pierson took a 1-0 lead into halftime against East Hampton on a goal by Bridgehampton’s Autumn Street. The Lady Bonackers, who entered the game clinging to slim postseason hopes, desperately needed a strong second half, but instead watched as Pierson scored four more goals. Hollie Schleicher scored twice and Sherwood and Cafiero had one each.

Goalie Charlotte Johnson had a tremendous game in the cage and allowed just the one goal as the Lady Whalers improved to 6-4 and into third place in the Division III standings.

“You need to have the trust with your teammates,” Cafiero said on Saturday, “and with our defense and our goalie, we know we can trust them so that’s the biggest thing.”

Pierson head coach Bethany Semlear said the team has been working hard on its passing patterns in practice, which showed on Saturday, as the Lady Whalers worked possession cleanly through the East Hampton defense and ultimately to the cage.

“I think they’re getting more comfortable playing with each other and our skills are getting better,” Semlear said. “Our passing has been better and we’re finishing. Today, we played with a lot of intensity.”

Pierson will face undefeated Miller Place at home on Friday, October 14, before traveling to Sayville on Monday, October 17. The team closes out the regular season with a home game against Harborfields on Wednesday, October 19, with all games starting at 4:30 p.m.

The Suffolk County Class C playoffs are tentatively scheduled to begin on October 28.

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