Well, I’ve now witnessed all three rematches of last year’s sectional finals, and remarkably they’ve all been roughly the same pattern. The presumed frontrunner (Yorktown, Nanuet, Suffern) takes a good-sized halftime lead, the challenger (John Jay, Rye, Lakeland/Panas) comes all the way back in the second half, and then the frontrunner scores the winner in the final minutes.
It was really a fascinating game to watch. The Mounties built a four-goal lead late in the first half, but Lakeland/Panas took a 6-1 run to start the second half by maintaining possession of the ball. All the big scorers came out firing (Chelsea Robinson 5-3, Caitlin Collins 4-0, Jessi Steinberg 4-0, Ali Steinberg 1-4), but it was Suffern’s Lara Kozin (4-3) and Jenny Califano, who scored the winner in her first game back from injury, that made the difference in the end.
Still, I love Robinson’s quote at the end, that it’s okay to lose the battle as long as you win the war. The teams will meet again on the final day of the regular season, and then again in the playoffs barring a major upset. A battle was also a pretty apt analogy based on the final play (and the picture I posted above). Jessi Steinberg was running out the clock when Tiara Johnson attempted a diving check, and as time expired Steinberg dropped the ball near Johnson’s face. Actually, if you watch the end of the video you might see what probably started it — Steinberg was practically tackled after attempted a shot, and then threw Johnson off of her.
In any case, I’m already looking forward to the rematch. In all three classes, actually, since all the opponents are in the same league and will play again this season.
Two other big games yesterday. Courtney Miller had six goals and an assist, including the winner with 23 seconds remaining, as Greeley topped Pearl River 13-12. And Carrie Poorman scored six goals as Bronxville dealt Pleasantville its first loss of the season, 15-8. At least there was some consolation for the Panthers: they can enjoy Disney World.