CROTON, N.Y.— North Salem knew a win over host Croton-Harmon would land them a league championship in field hockey last week and the Tigers were up for the challenge.
In a game where its defense was able to keep Croton’s offense at bay, North Salem pulled out a 3-1 win on Thursday, Oct. 19.
Croton had two penalty strokes in the game with goalie Olivia DeSanto (five saves) stopping one of them, with the other shot hitting a post and caroming away.
“Heading into the game, we all knew that it was going to be tough,” senior captain Charlie Reiner said. “But we walked off that bus unwilling to accept defeat and that really showed through the multiple end-line saves and finishing on corner plays that occurred to allow us to win.”
The North Salem Tigers took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Sophia Cocking midway through the first half. Jessica Reiner fed Cocking for the goal on a penalty corner.
Natalie Intrieri doubled the lead with the assist going to Charlie Reiner. Croton scored with two minutes left in the first half.
North Salem quickly answered when Kaitlyn Thayer finished a Natalie Intrieri pass on a corner with just 35 seconds left in the first half.
“Winning the league title has always been a goal in the back of my mind,” Charlie Reiner said, “and so to be able to not only accomplish that, but have such a strong record feels really great and is a really nice way to be able to show how hard our team worked this year.”
The Tigers finished the regular season at 14-2 when they cruised past Briarcliff 6-0 on Oct. 20.
Cocking and Intrieri had two goals each with Juliet Serra and Allison Eberhardt adding a goal. Ally O’Sullivan, Mariana Alpizar, Charlie Reiner and Eberhardt had an assist apiece.
The Tigers blanked visiting Pawling 1-0 on Oct. 17 in a league game with Analisa Posa scoring the game winner on a perfect feed from Charlie Reiner. DeSanto made one save.
North Salem heads into the Class C sectionals with momentum and earned the No. 1 seed. It will host the winner between No. 9 Putnam Valley and No. 8 Albertus Magnus in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Oct. 28.
“We’re seeded No. 1, but we all know that that doesn’t guarantee us anything,” Charlie said. “We all want to see ourselves in the finals and we’re going to have to play challenging teams to get there. We realize that success is going to come from working hard at practice and playing 100 percent.”