Although it wasn’t a shootout, Brewster’s win against Pearl River still had plenty of excitement. Both teams made deep playoff runs in 2012. The Pirates and Bears also lost plenty of players that played key roles in the success they enjoyed last season.
It’s fitting that in the end it was a freshman goalie in the midst of her first season on varsity that was essentially the difference maker. I also have to give credit to Pearl River goalie Delia White. The senior made 11 saves in the game and kept the Pirates in it when their offense dried up.
Going to the game also gave me a chance to find out what had happened regarding Pearl River coach Laurie Mayernik. There were plenty of rumors circulating about what happened to the longtime Pirates coach. I got a chance to speak to Mayernik, who told me she has been suspended until April 23 when she will be able to state her case to the Pearl River Department of Education. As you’ll see in my story, Mayernik seems confident her name will be cleared at that time. She also re-confirmed the fact that she will be retiring after this season, something she told me prior to the start of the season.
PEARL RIVER Taking on any starting role as a freshman is no easy task, but the position of goalie might be the most stressful to play at such a young age. In no other spot are your mistakes so visible.
Freshman Erica Marlowe (pictured about, # 30), playing her first season on varsity, showed limited signs of her inexperience, as she made 10 saves to help Brewster to a 7-5 win at Pearl River Thursday.
“They’ve taken me in like a child since I am basically a child to them,” said Marlowe of her teammates. “They’ve taken me in underneath their wing, and they just take such good care of me.”
Marlowe posted seven saves in the second half, including two key ones in the final two minutes to help Brewster maintain its lead.
“(Marlowe) had a great game for us today,” Brewster coach Gerry Walsh said. “The first thing I said to the girls was, ‘Thank your goalie. She bailed you out today. ’ ”
The Pirates were just one day removed from head coach Laurie Mayernik receiving a suspension until April 23. Mayernik, in her 15th season as head coach at Pearl River, will be able to present her case for the claim made against her to the Pearl River Board of Education on April 23.
Mayernik could not comment on what the allegation was or who made it.
“It will probably be all cleared up by the 23rd,” Mayernik said. “It’s all good. It’s fine. We’ll take care of it.”
The Pirates, under interim-coach Diana Gillule, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes. However, Brewster gained control of the game, going on a four-goal run to end the half, thanks in large part to midfielder Kristen Ohberg (pictured right) (three goals, two assists), who was involved in every goal.
“She’s a gifted athlete,” said Walsh of Ohberg, who will play at SUNY Cortland in the fall. “She’s got a lot of tools to work with. She’s our player you’ve got to stop.”
After another goal from Ohberg to open the second half gave the Bears a 5-2 lead, the Pirates answered back. Caitlin Noonan, Kayla Moreau and Courtney Ocasal scored to knot the teams at five with just over 13 minutes remaining.
Brynn Bottalico picked up a groundball in front of the crease and scored with under 10 minutes left to put the Bears back on top. Less than a minute later ,Lily Lleshaj added an insurance goal.
Walsh said the game was called so tightly that his team wasn’t able to get into a good offensive flow, and felt there was room for improvement from his squad offensively.
“We were sloppy with our stickhandling and picking up groundballs,” Walsh said. “But we did what we had to do.”
Photos courtesy of John Meore/The Journal News. For the complete gallery click here.