North Salem Responds with a Fury

Hailey Starace chases after a loose ball. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— Coming off its first loss of the season to defending Class C section champion Bronxville, North Salem’s field hockey team wanted to quickly respond.

The Tigers did so in the form of a decisive 5-0 win over visiting Mahopac on Oct. 2, improving their record to 6-1.

“Bronxville was a very tight game in the beginning and then to have those three goals scored on us when it was such a tight game was really heartbreaking for us,” senior captain Charlie Reiner said. “We just used that as motivation in practice and to realize we really had to be stronger on defense and that’s what we did today.”

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The Tigers came out flying when junior Isabela Fox-Mills carried the ball into the circle and sent it to senior Mariana Alpizar, who found the back of the net to give them a 1-0 lead with 19:30 left in the first half.

“It was a pass from the right and I just had a finishing touch on it,” Alpizar said. “We worked a lot on that in practice so I think it really paid off.”

Freshman Juliet Serra added to the lead when Allison Eberhardt found her with 11:28 left in the first half.

“We’ve been working really hard at practice to go really hard from the beginning,” Reiner said of the strong start. “Our intensity was up from the very beginning. That just set the tone for the game.”

Senior Analisa Posa sent the Tigers into halftime with a 3-0 lead when she scored with 2:28 left.

North Salem didn’t let up in the second half as junior Sophia Cocking scored on a corner with Reiner getting the assist.

Junior Hailey Starace closed out the scoring a few minutes later in a game where the Tigers showcased their depth with five different scorers.

“It’s really great because on a lot of teams if there’s one scorer then you know you have to watch for that one girl,” Reiner said. “With five scorers, that’s everyone. There’s not one person to watch out for. We have an entire team of options.”

Her teammate agreed.

“We’re all really strong players and together we make a really strong team,” Alpizar said. “It just shows that there’s not just one main scorer. It’s all of us combined together.”

North Salem held Mahopac’s offense at bay as Olivia DeSanto only had to make one save.

“We have a really strong defense,” Reiner said. “We just worked together today and there was a lot of communication. That’s really important.”

The Tigers fell to host Bronxville 3-0 on Sept. 27. It was scoreless at halftime as the Tigers controlled possession and had many opportunities to score.

“We played a really good game,” North Salem coach Jennifer Frohman said. “In the first half we definitely had Bronxville on their heels. We were almost equal on shots, corners and saves, so we certainly know we can play with them. We learned we have to take advantage of the shot opportunities and corners we get, as we know they can be extremely limited when we get to sectionals. We also learned we cannot hesitate and need to play every minutes as hard as the first.”

Frohman said that Ally O’Sullivan was the “player of the game” for North Salem in the loss.

“She stopped many runs down the field—including a breakaway,” Frohman noted. “She also led us into our offensive end many times.”

Olivia DeSanto made five saves in the setback.

The Tigers have a busy month of October with nine games left on the slate. They hosted Pleasantville on Oct. 3, travel to Rye Neck today for a 4:30 p.m. league game and then host Our Lady of Lourdes at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 10.

“The expectations are really high because we’ve worked really since the beginning of the season,” Alpizar said. “I hope we go really far.”

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