The Pierson field hockey team defeated Greenport/Southold, 4-0, at Centereach High School on Monday evening to win its seventh straight Suffolk County Class C Championship.
For many of the upperclassmen who have now played, and won, multiple county titles at this point, Monday night could have felt like any of the other county-title clinching victories. But it didn’t.
“Seven in a row, we’ve definitely been through this a lot, but I think this feeling is different because we’ve finally just been working together and I think that it’s not just a few people who are pulling their weight, it’s really everyone on the field who is doing their job,” said senior tri-captain Madison Stuckart, who scored twice in the win.
Junior tri-captain Meredith Spolarich, who opened the scoring at 5:44 in the first quarter, agreed with her teammate.
“One thing about winning seven in a row is that we’ve been through so many, and I honestly think that this one felt the best. We worked as a team, and we all worked hard. It felt like we were all supportive on the field. We were finishing on goals, scoring on corners.”
Once Spolarich found the back of the cage, it really seemed to open things up for the Whalers, who were constantly peppering Greenport goalie Dylan Reilly with shots. To her credit, she made 24 saves on the night.
But Stuckart scored her first goal of the night off a nice feed from junior Tahnie Sullivan, who recovered the ball off a pad save from Reilly and pushed the ball to Stuckart, who finished it. Stuckart’s second goal of the quarter came in similar fashion, off a nice find from Spolarich with 57 seconds remaining in the first half.
Senior Caroline Canavan scored the final goal of the game assisted from Spolarich with 1:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Pierson dominated in just about every fashion, outshooting Greenport, 30-1, and having 16 corners. That put a smile on the face of Pierson head coach Nina Hemby who said her team relentlessly prepared for Monday’s game.
“We were really prepped for this game. We just ran over a bunch of situations and were just ready for anything that could happen,” she said. “Our energy is great, everybody is feeling good, bodies are feeling good, mentally we’re feeling good. It all came together and we’re excited to go forward.”
Pierson will play either Carle Place or Cold Spring Harbor in the Long Island Championship this Sunday, November 7, back at Centereach at noon. While the county titles have come in droves for the Whalers, the Long Island titles have been a bit more elusive, having only secured one since 2015. Pierson lost, 2-1, to Carle Place in the LIC during the shortened pandemic season this past spring.
That game, Hemby said, has been completely forgotten about.
“New game, new year, new kids, different team, different mentality. So we’re ready,” she said.
Her players are buying into that mentality as well.
“I think everyone sees Pierson as we just walk in to playoffs, but I think this year we’ve definitely proven that we deserved to be there and we deserve to go,” Stuckart said.
“We’re going to keep the momentum going from this game,” Spolarich added. “We’ve been working the past few weeks, we’re going to keep working hard, keep the energy going.”