Pierson Drops Hard-Fought Battle to Miller Place

Pierson senior Paige Schaefer, pushing the ball against Miller Place earlier this year, scored the game-winner against Port Jefferson last week. Gavin Menu photo

Jaedyn Scarlatos was probably smiling wider than usual when she returned home to Miller Place on Saturday. And who could blame her? The eighth-grade forward for the Lady Panthers scored both goals in a 2-1 overtime victory over Pierson on Saturday, spoiling what would have been a huge homecoming victory for the Lady Whalers.

“She’ll be smiling, but she might not get fed,” joked Pierson coach Kim Hannigan, who just so happens to be Scarlatos’s mother. “Obviously I focus on Pierson because I’m coaching them, but I’m happy for her. I coach a lot of the Miller Place girls all year round. It’s enjoyable to see some good hockey.”

Paige Schaefer, right, with Jaedyn Scarlatos, the daughter of Pierson coach Kim Hannigan.

Scarlatos, who plays on her mom’s East End Field Hockey club team during the offseason, scored at the 5:15 mark of the first half to give Miller Place a 1-0 lead. The Lady Panthers consistently fired shots on Pierson’s All-Long Island goalie Charlotte Johnson, who made 20 saves in the game. Alex Ponzini scored for Pierson with 18:31 remaining to tie the game, and the referees called off an apparent goal by Miller Place with just 3:20 remaining, which sent the game to overtime.

As had been the case all afternoon, Miller Place continued to fire hard shots on Johnson in goal as the overtime period began. At the 6:47 mark, Scarlatos sent a shot into the back of the goal to win the game, though her celebration was tempered by a chest injury suffered by Emma Rascelles, who was standing in the back of the net.

“She got a ball right to the chest so we’ll keep an eye on her,” Hannigan said about her daughter’s shot. “She was in the goal and it crossed over the line.”

The Lady Whalers bounced back with a 3-0 win over Port Jefferson on Monday and improved to 2-4, with 108.910 power points, good for eighth place in Division II. Senior Paige Schaefer had a goal and an assist, while Brook Esposito and Meredith Spolarich also broke through with goals.

The Lady Whalers were scheduled to host West Babylon on Wednesday after press time and will travel to face Greenport/Southold on Friday, September 28, at 4:30 p.m. before returning home to play first-place Rocky Point on Tuesday, also at 4:30 p.m.

Pierson goalie Charlotte Johnson was tested all game against Miller Place, and made 20 saves in a 2-1 loss. Gavin Menu photo