September 27, 2006

Lady Baymen Off And Running

"Our hopes are to get into the playoffs this season," said Hampton Bays Field Hockey coach Diane Burkhardt. "We missed the playoffs by only a few games last season and we really think we have a team that can get there. The team is beginning to gel and now, we're just working on the smaller things."

A 3-2 win over Rocky Point on September 18, followed by a 3-1 victory against Greenport/Southold/Mattituck last Wednesday, has given the Lady Baymen two reasons; albeit small, to believe that this year's continued patience and hard work may result in a postseason appearance.

"The girls are playing well right now and Genna has scored some big goals for us."

In Hampton Bays' triumph over Rocky Point, Kovar, a returning All-State midfielder, slipped a quick wrist shot past Eagles goalie Jessica Wright with 2:14 remaining in overtime. Earlier in the game, Kovar scored the tying goal from 18 feet out on a play set up by teammate Sami Krantz, an extraordinary playmaker who was an All-Conference midfielder in 2005.

Kovar, who led Suffolk County in goals scored as a sophomore last season, is a two-time Empire State Games player. She's already being recruited by Division I schools. With tons of speed and an incredible sense for the game, she's a player who's able to use her reverse stick and her fade stick equally well. Kovar anticipates the play before it happens and is "a pure gamer," according to her coach.

Senior forward Tara Fallo also scored for the Baymen; her first goal of the season while senior goalkeeper Sarah Zay stopped 21 shots. The Baymen's offense should be among the best in Division III this season with Kovar, sophomore Caelin Gunn, sophomore Ali Hultberg and senior Meagan Jordan helping to provide the goals.

Against Greenport, Hampton Bays' defense shined once again with the efforts of juniors Stephanie Martinez and Kait Cooper along with sophomore Marissa Raimo and senior Kathryn Lerner while Zay was challenged by only seven shots. Kovar scored a goal and assisted on one of Gunn's two goals. All-Division midfielder Kristin Moran also played a strong game.

One of the Baymen's biggest strengths to start the season has been its ability to interchange players. "They can all play different positions," said Burkhardt who also mentioned how players such as juniors Brianne Frayne and Laura Jimenez will also contribute.

"We're seeded seventh in our division and we have a difficult schedule this season," Burkhardt said. "We play Miller Place (defending Long Island Champion), but that's a plus for us because of the power ratings. We have skilled hard workers on this team that know the game well and are conditioned. We're off to a good start."

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