October 11, 2006

Lady Bonackers Edge Pierson

"They played an excellent game today and finally stepped it up to the level that they should be playing at," said Carolina Schaefer about her East Hampton field hockey team's well-played 3-1 victory at home over Pierson last Wednesday afternoon.

The win gave the Lady Bonackers a 4-2 record in Suffolk's Division III and, more importantly, it gave East Hampton sole control of third place while Pierson (3-3) slipped into seventh place.

"They really put it together out there today," Schaefer said. "The energy that our forward line had really sparked the whole team; they were really phenomenal out there. And our defense did an excellent job with Jen Reich getting the ball out of the circle, while Stephanie Magnaldi did a great job against Bethany Semlear. She took the ball away from her and slowed her down. Katie Bimson and Rachael Mott also did very well in getting the ball to our middies and forwards. They really geared it up defensively."

The Bonackers didn't waste much time establishing their offensive presence in front of their hometown fans, scoring a little more than five minutes into the game when junior forward Katlin Montella scored off an assist from teammate Candace Ceslow, who sent a pinpoint cross pass over to the left side for the tap in goal.

Pierson scored to tie the game at 1-1 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half as Semlear knocked in a shot from in close off a rebound from midfielder Melissa Mitchell.

East Hampton continued to storm the Whalers' defensive zone with shots and, with six minutes left in the half, junior Andrea Van Dyke scored unassisted off a shot from close range that was rifled into the opposite corner of Pierson's goal. "It was a really nice shot," said Schaefer.

Alex Waleko scored an insurance goal for the Bonackers with six minutes remaining in the game with a strong hit and goalkeeper Kim Long turned away several shots late en route to recording a seven save victory. "Kim has been doing a phenomenal job and her mindset today really helped us," Schaefer remarked. "We did a really nice job as a team today, just keeping it together and the girls really inspired each other. It was a huge win for us . . . mentally it brought the girls back and showed them exactly the kind of game that they're capable of playing." East Hampton suffered a tough 6-0 loss to LI champion Miller Place in its previous game.

The Bonackers improved to 5-2 with another significant win over Comsewogue on Saturday, defeating the Warriors 4-1 in a contest that saw Ceslow score twice and assist on another goal. Waleko added her eighth goal of the season and Montella registered a goal for the second straight game.

"It's definitely a positive start for us," said Schaefer. "I'm really happy with our energy and unity; it's been a key thing for us this season. We had set three goals for ourselves at the start of the season: to have a strong team unity, to finish in the top three in the league standings and to make it to the finals of Class B. So far they're staying focused on that."

Schaefer's Bonackers host Shoreham-Wading River, another top Suffolk County field hockey squad, today at 4:30 p.m. "The girls are pumped for it," said the coach.

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