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East Hampton Field Hockey Team Is Flying High

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 18:12
Melina Sarlo, who plays center midfield for East Hampton High School’s field hockey team, had scored four goals as of Monday.
Craig Macnaughton

East Hampton High’s field hockey team was at the top of Division II’s standings Monday morning, with wins over Pierson (Sag Harbor), Smithtown West, and Southampton already under its belt.

The margins of victory were impressive: Danielle Schuster’s team bageled Pierson and Southampton by scores of 6-0 and 7-0, and, on Sept. 6, defeated Smithtown West 4-1.

Lest one get too carried away, Schuster said by phone Monday morning that the tough teams, such as Rocky Point, which bested East Hampton in last fall’s county Class B championship game, Harborfields, Bayport-Blue Point, and Eastport-South Manor, were yet to come.

As of Monday, seven different East Hampton players had scored goals, evidence that, as Schuster said, “we’ve got a lot of flexibility.”

The Pierson win was pretty much foreordained inasmuch as its starting goalie of the past two years, Kali Wilson, has moved to a field position, and her replacement was missing that day (Aug. 31). Melina Sarlo, the center midfielder, scored three goals, Emma McGrory, the left middie, two (as well as assisting on two others), and Lila Gabbard scored one.

“Pierson played well,” said Schuster, “though it had no subs.”

At Smithtown West on Sept. 6, East Hampton won 4-1, with Siena Link-Morse, the center forward, scoring twice, and McGrory and Brynley Lys, one of 11 players Schuster has brought up from last year’s jayvee, scoring the others.

On Friday, at Southampton, the scorers were McGrory, with two, and Link-Morse, Sarlo, Gabbard, Addi Barletta, and Gracie Rasi tallying one each.

Needless to say, Caeleigh Schuster, the coach’s sophomore daughter, and a regionally-recognized goalie, didn’t experience much pressure in East Hampton’s initial outings. She parried a penalty stroke in the game with Smithtown West, whose lone goal resulted from a penalty corner play, and wound up with five saves. “She had a quiet day at Southampton,” her mother said.

East Hampton was to have played at Comsewogue Tuesday, and is to be home to Babylon this afternoon. The team’s seniors — Link-Morse, Sara Stuckart, McGrory, Ally Schaefer, Rasi, and Sarlo — are to be honored beforehand.

Boys Soccer

East Hampton’s boys soccer team was 1-1-1 in League VI play as of Monday and 3-1-1 over all. In action last week, the boys were tied 2-2 at Eastport-South Manor, lost 2-0 here to Comsewogue Friday, and routed New Rochelle 7-1 in a nonleague game played at Jericho High School on Saturday.

Though it attacked perhaps three-quarters of the time here Friday — East Hampton had far more throw-ins, for example, than the visitors — advancing the ball on the ground with deft passes, the boys soccer team wasn’t able to penetrate Comsewogue’s stiff defense. “We did have our opportunities,” Don McGovern, Bonac’s coach, said by phone over the weekend, “but obviously we didn’t make the most of them.”

Meanwhile, Comsewogue’s tall center back, Aiden Bayer, put a contested corner kick past East Hampton’s screened goalie, Adrian Arrango, in the 33rd minute, and, in the 44th, Dylan Raspanti made it 2-0, blasting a 20-yard free kick over a “wall” of defenders into the upper right corner of East Hampton’s nets.

“Bayer was their man,” said McGovern, “a tough match-up for anyone, and when we were on the attack they got their defenders behind the ball and marked us well when we got near the box.”

While their first loss of the season was disappointing, East Hampton’s players were quick to shake it off, evidenced by their 7-1 nonleague win over New Rochelle the next day. Brian Tacuri led the  scoring parade with two goals. John Bustamente, Alex Farez, Nolan Serrano, Ariel Garcia, and David Moreno each had one.

“New Rochelle was a good team,” said McGovern, agreeing that he could have used some of those goals in the Comsewogue game. “Like us, they played the ball on the ground, though our kids were better ball-handlers.”

The team is to play Rocky Point here today.

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