Lakeland wins regional and sectional titles, Hornets take aim at seventh straight state title


YORKTOWN HEIGHTS - There are a few things you can count on in November: Turkey and football on Thanksgiving and Lakeland’s field hockey squad in the New York state Class B final four.

Lakeland earned its seventh straight trip to the state final four with a 4-0 victory against Section 4 champion Vestal on Nov. 7 in the Region 1 championship game at Valhalla.

Meghan Fahey scored in the first half for Lakeland. The Hornets then broke open the game late in the second half with goals by Brianna Muniz, Jessica Ascencao and Dana Bozek, last week’s Con Edison Scholar Athlete award winner.

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Lakeland next plays in the state final four against Section 5 champion Brighton at Maine-Endwell at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.

If the Hornets are victorious in the semifinals, they will play for their seventh straight state championship in the title game at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 15, also at Maine-Endwell.

The victory gave the Hornets their 72nd consecutive victory overall and 151st straight win against New York state opponents. 

Lakeland (20-0) earned the right to play in the regional-title game with a 4-1 triumph against Rye at Brewster on Nov. 3 in the Section 1 Class B title contest.

The win gave the Hornets, led by Bozek’s four goals, their seventh straight sectional title.

“I’m so proud of the team and our performance tonight,” Bozek said. “To win a section title against a team like Rye means everything. I couldn’t be happier.”

Muniz, who assisted Bozek on three of her goals, was equally ecstatic.

“It was incredible winning another title,” Muniz said. “Especially as a senior I’m glad I am able to end my Lakeland field hockey career with a section title. It’s great and I’m so proud of the team for everything we’ve accomplished so far.”

Bozek said she was surprised about her four-goal game.

“I think I was just as shocked as everyone else,” Bozek said. “I couldn’t believe I scored four goals. But my teammates kept setting me up and I was just able to finish.”

When Bozek scored her third goal to seal the hat trick in the opening half, the Lakeland fans threw hats on the turf field in support of her, something she was very appreciative of.

“I didn’t even realize that had happened because I was so into the game,” Bozek said. “But the nonstop support from the Lakeland students and faculty along with friends and family makes the victory that much sweeter.”

Muniz was not surprised at all that Bozek was able to perform as well as she did.

“Dana played great against Rye,” Muniz said. “She was fired up and channeled her anger and frustration into her level of play.”

Lakeland led 4-1 at halftime and played hard to make sure Rye didn’t get back in the game.

“I think the reason we were able to get an early lead was because as a team we were all focused and determined to win that game.

Muniz said. “Dana contributed so much on the field and her goals got us so excited and we knew in the second half that we couldn’t let Rye back in the game.”

Madison Beames played another solid game in goal for the Hornets, making three clutch saves against the Garnets.

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