My story on North Rockland’s win over Scarsdale in the Class A quarterfinals.
THIELLS Her time on varsity might have been brief so far, but North Rockland’s Mairead Durkin has certainly made the most of it.
The eighth-grader, who is in her first season on varsity, won every draw for the No. 4 Red Raiders in the second half of their 11-9 win over visiting No. 5 Scarsdale in the quarterfinals of the Class A sectional tournament.
“In the beginning of the season, I was really scared with it,” Durkin said of playing against girls that are up to five years older than her. “Now, it’s coming together.”
The youngster’s performance is even more impressive when one considers it came against Scarsdale senior Lindsey Repp, an all-American in 2013.
“(Durkin’s) athletic enough where she can make up for a very experienced draw girl because she has the ability to get the ball out of the air,” North Rockland coach Greg Borchers said. “That’s something we don’t coach. It’s more of her being so athletic that she’s able to get that ball.”
North Rockland will head to top-seeded Suffern for the semifinals Tuesday at a time to be determined.
Durkin’s strength at the draw circle was key for North Rockland, which chose to slow the pace of the game following a back-and-forth first half that ended 7-7.
“We don’t want to trade goals with teams; that’s a recipe for disaster for anybody,” Borchers said. “We basically restarted at halftime. … Let’s try and get as many offensive possessions as we can. Lets take our break on offense. We’ll try to run some more sets and things like that and attack them that way, instead of always trying to push the fast breaks.”
North Rockland scored four of the first five second-half goals to take an 11-8 lead with 12:25 remaining.
The Red Raiders eventually went into a complete stall with just over seven minutes remaining to hold on for the win.
“I always find it very hectic and scary, but I think we pulled it together,” said North Rockland’s Kaitlyn Rau, who had a game-high five goals, of putting the stall on late in a game. “We kept our poise.”