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Raiders Field Hockey Team Doesn’t Let the Rain Dampen Their Effort

fieldhockeyFollowing an afternoon downpour on Thursday, the skies cleared up to greet the Scarsdale Raiders Field Hockey Team as they got off the bus at Mamaroneck High School to visit the Tigers. The 4th ranked Raiders were sporting a 7-1 record and coming off an exciting 1-0 takedown of Bronxville earlier in the week. The third ranked Tigers had six wins for the season against one loss and one tie (against the first and second ranked teams respectively). This rivalry has created some classic games in the past and this contest proved no different as the Tigers edged the Raiders 3-2.

The match started with most of the action taking place in the middle of the field. Scarsdale’s co-captain Sophie Carroll was a significant presence in controlling the ball early. At the nine minute mark the Tigers had the first scoring opportunity as attacker Caitlin Rogoff sent a cross towards the goal but Mamaroneck could not convert it. Moments later, the Raiders Emily Felder stopped a corner drive and began a charge down the field. Carroll then took a long shot towards the Tigers goal and Andie Novenstein deflected the ball into Mamaroneck’s goal – and the Raiders had a 1-0 lead with 11 minutes gone in the contest.

The Tigers responded a few minutes later – as their sophomore sensation Ava Gristina scored off a corner at the midway point of the first half. With the score knotted at 1-1 the teams traded drives back and forth. Carroll shot a ball high over the net with 11 minutes left in the half and Maeve Jacobson had a nice drive from her defense position. Fellow defensemen Olivia Franco stopped a threatening Tiger breakaway with just over 4 minutes left in the half. With two minutes left in the half the Tigers Laine Pearson had a nice drive that Scarsdale repelled. The teams ended the half tied at 1-1 and both looked exhausted as the buzzer sound.

Both teams took the field for the second half with a renewed energy and the action continued. Gristina scored again and gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead as she scored on a very long shot from the left side of the goal with three minutes gone in the half. Scarsdale then took the ball down the field and put pressure on Mamaroneck’s defense. Goalie Samantha Maresca was forced to come out of the goal with eight minutes gone to stop a shot by Scarsdale’s Haley Matusz.

The Tigers then took the ball down the field and put their own pressure on Scarsdale. Raider goalie Angela Hoey made a huge save off a Tiger corner. After a flurry of activity around the Raider goal, Mamaroneck’s Laine Pearson punched home a rebound that came off a corner, and the Tigers took which looked like a commanding lead 3-1 with 17 minutes left in the contest.

However, the Raiders were not done, and responded within a minute. On their ensuing drive Matusz plucked a Sophie Franco shot out of the air and struck home Scarsdale’s second goal. Both goalies made fabulous stops in the next few minutes. Hoey repelled an attempt with 13 minutes left and Maresca point blank robbed co-captain Sophia Franco’s attempt at the equalizer at the 12 minute mark. Scarsdale kept the pressure on and co-captain Liz Scarella steered a drive that nearly led to a goal. With just under four minutes left in the contest, the Raiders had their last great chance to score as Matusz made a nice play and almost tied the affair off a corner.

Scarsdale gave the Tigers all they could handle as coach Lauren Barton remarked: “it was a great game and the girls played their best hockey of the season. We capitalized on the opportunities we had and played our strongest field hockey. We were much more patient on defense and explosive on attack.” Coach Barton also noted the balanced team play as she said: “every single member of our team played an integral role in our performance today.” The Raiders will have another crack at the Tigers in a few weeks – as it will defend its home turf – in a game that will surely have playoff seeding implications.

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