November 08, 2006

Golden Flashes Topple East Hampton

In what was essentially regarded in the schedule as a "meaningless" non-league game, a game that had no bearing on either schools' record, the East Hampton and Sayville field hockey teams knew better.

When the Bonackers and the Golden Flashes met on October 14, both teams knew that it was a potential playoff preview. In that contest, East Hampton was able to escape with a 1-0 win over Sayville, thanks to a pinpoint pass from Lindsay Stavola, followed by a timely goal from Candace Ceslow (coupled with a stellar defensive effort from the Bonackers backs).

So when Section XI's playoff brackets were announced last week, one of the games that immediately stood out was the Class B quarterfinal — #5 seed Sayville @ #4-seed East Hampton.

"We knew that they [Sayville] weren't as strong as we expected them to be [in that first game]," said Bonackers' coach Carolina Schaefer, as she commented on the non-league win. East Hampton was yet to see the true power of the Golden Flashes.

So it was fitting that on a postseason game that took place on Halloween, Sayville came dressed as a legitimate championship caliber team, defeating the Bonackers 3-1 in front of their home fans.

"[Sayville] played a lot better game than the first time we saw them," Schaefer said. "I thought that we did a pretty good job in the first half, but in the second half, I think we panicked a little bit. Otherwise, I thought we played a good game."

Erin Finlay scored the only goal of the first half for the Golden Flashes and Stavola knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal for East Hampton early in the second half. That tie was short-lived as the Golden Flashes scored twice more in an eight-minute span, both off the stick of Marissa Lamanno, to put the Bonackers in a giant hole that they were unable to dig out of.

"It's kind of an upset when you lose on your home field," said Schaefer. "It made me feel a little better to see Sayville defeat (#1 seed) Shoreham [in their next game]. Sayville really put it together from the first time we played them, through the playoffs.

"All of our seniors did a really good job for us. Even after the game was over, we just kind of stood there because we couldn't believe that the season was done. They weren't overconfident; they just weren't planning on losing," Schaefer said, adding, "I thought that we had a really good year. I had no clue what kind of team we had, but they did a great job all year. It was a really enjoyable team to coach."

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