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25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 15:02

It happened here, sports fans . . .

November 3, 1994

The East Hampton High School field hockey team earned a police and fire engine escort back to the high school yesterday after having dumped Miller Place from the ranks of the unbeaten and having thus earned, for the second year in a row, a trip to the New York State tournament.

. . . East Hampton lost no time yesterday, putting pressure on from the get-go. On the first penalty corner play of the Class B county championship game, which was played at Southampton High School, the ball went out to Kelly McMahon at the top of the circle, where the junior center link let go a shot. It was blocked, but with a jab that stopped a defender from pushing the ball out of the circle, McMahon regained control and beat Miller Place’s goalkeeper, Kerri McMearty, to the right corner.

That electrifying goal, the only one of the day, as it turned out, was cheered by Bonac’s fans, who were braced against a stiff wind that blew diagonally across the field.

. . . McMahon clearly was the game’s most valuable player, on offense and defense. But she had a lot of help defensively from Corrine Vish, Rebecca Schwartz, Liz Pizzorno, Sharon Kom, and Nicole Messinger.

Asked later to review the maneuvers that led to the all-important goal, McMahon replied, with a laugh, “I can’t remember.”


November 10, 1994

Ellen Cooper and her East Hampton High School field hockey players breathed huge sighs of relief at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon as Liz Pizzorno stopped a Hampton Bays clear outside the circle and fed the ball back in to Heather McCormack, Bonac’s high-scoring forward, who tipped it behind the Baywomen’s incredibly agile goalkeeper, Kelly Ottati, into the center of the cage.

That goal, McCormack’s 22nd of the season, gave East Hampton the county small schools championship by ending a three-hour-and 15 minute agon at Sag Harbor’s Mashashimuet Park that had stretched over two days and had required 60 minutes of regulation play, a 10-minute overtime period, and 146 corner plays (73 by each team) to reach a decision.

Final score: East Hampton 2, Hampton Bays 1.

Exhausted but exultant, McCormack was mobbed in the cage by her teammates while Ottati, whose 45 saves reminded one of the Alamo, lay flat out a few feet away, despondent.

“She was awesome,” Cooper said later of Ottati. “She was the reason they stayed in the game. But you can’t be a one-man team.” Ottati, a Hampton Bays junior, almost was. A number of her saves were spectacular.

For the first time in East Hampton High School history the school can boast of a team, field hockey, that has won Suffolk County championships back-to-back.

Playing Sachem, the county A champion, at Connetquot High School Tuesday, the B-C-champion Bonackers, who wound up winning 1-0, didn’t look as if they were serious about defending the title they won last year at Sachem’s expense.

. . . Early in the second half, after a Sachem defender had reached up to bat down a goal-bound shot during a penalty corner play, East Hampton was awarded a penalty stroke from a spot seven yards from the goal.

Bridget Fromm, the team’s second-leading scorer, was chosen to take the flicked shot. In the county small schools championship struggle with Hampton Bays on Friday and Saturday, she had taken two penalty strokes, and had seen both stopped by the Baywomen’s agile goalkeeper, Kelly Ottati.

This time, the athletic forward, who has been playing the past three weeks in the throes of an intermittent flu-like illness, concentrated especially hard. On first addressing the ball, she held up her hand and stepped back. The pause, she said later, wasn’t owing to nerves, but to increase her focus.

Fromm’s shot, low to the Sachem goalie Alicia Martin’s stick side, banged off the cage’s 18-inch high backboard, prompting East Hampton’s players and fans to let out whoops of joy.

That goal, scored six minutes into the second half, turned out to be all the Bonackers needed to repeat as overall county champions, though there was plenty of action yet to come. Erika Vargas, East Hampton’s goalie, was called on to make two big, sliding saves thereafter, the second of which came, as Bonac fans held their breath, in the game’s final minute.

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