Pierson Field Hockey Season Ends In State Semifinal Against Unbeaten Powerhouse

The Pierson field hockey team saw its season come to an end in the state semifinals against an strong and undefeated Whitney Point team. CAILIN RILEY

There was no doubt who was the underdog and who was the favorite in Saturday afternoon’s New York State Class C field hockey semifinal at Centereach High School.

Undefeated Whitney Point (17-0) came into the game as the undisputed heavyweight, boasting not only a spotless record but an intimidating goal differential — through 16 games, the Golden Eagles had outscored their opponents, 115-9.

Pierson junior Eleana Merola attempts to clear the ball as a Whitney Point player pressures her. CAILIN RILEY

Whitney Point increased that goal differential to 126-9 after defeating Pierson, 11-0, in the semifinal on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the Golden Eagles defeated Hoosick Falls, 6-1, to win its sixth Class C state title in the last seven years the championship has been contested — there was no state tournament in 2020 because of COVID. Bronxville won the state championship in 2019, but before that, Whitney Point had rattled off five straight, starting in 2014, the year after Pierson won its first ever state crown in 2013. Hoosick Falls had edged North Salem, 2-1, in the other state semifinal.

The Golden Eagles did not waste any time getting on the board on Saturday. Less than a minute into the game, Kaylie Lynch scored the first of what would be five goals for her on the day. She scored three more after that, putting her team up 4-0 early in the second quarter. Whitney Point was up 5-0 at halftime, and added another six goals before the final whistle blew. Brenna Bough finished with five goals as well, and Lana Jordan added the other goal for Whitney Point. Bough also had three assists.

Pierson (7-10 on the season) had only four corners on the day and five shots on goal, while keeper Cali Wilson was under constant pressure, and made 25 saves. Whitney Point had 20 corners and more than 30 shots on goal.

Pierson junior Meredith Spolarich was named All-State and All-Tournament.

Pierson freshman Bella Eldridge plays the ball on her stick. CAILIN RILEY

After the game, Pierson head coach Nina Hemby tried to focus on what was an overall strong season for a young Lady Whalers team.

“They put up a good fight,” she said of her team. “They were prepared and they were conditioned to go the whole mile, and it just is what it is. We made it all the way to the final four, and they did a great job.”

Hemby said her team made “a lot of improvements” from the beginning of the season and said she wasn’t displeased with the way her team performed in its final game of the year.

“I think we put up a good effort, especially considering the team we were up against,” she said. “We’re the tiniest school, and our team is so young, so it’s just great to be here, and it’s a great experience for us, so we can come back next year.”

Pierson will lose only four seniors to graduation: Anne Quimby, Caroline Canavan, Madison Stuckart and Micky Wilson.