YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Top-seeded Yorktown and No. 3 Somers battled for the fourth-straight year in the Section 1 Class B title game and fifth year overall, this time at Yorktown on May 25, with the Huskers winning the title game 9-4 to secure their 11th sectional crown in their illustrious history.
Yorktown also beat Somers in the title game last year, with Somers defeating the Huskers in the 2014 and 2015 championship contests after Yorktown defeated the Tuskers in the 2013 semifinals.
What made the championship extra sweet for the Huskers is the adversity they overcame to win it, including the loss of two starters, senior captain Carli Mager, who will play at Ohio State University next year, and junior Caroline Garti.
“It just means everything for the seniors to go out on a winning note,” Yorktown coach Ellen Mager said. “That’s all you work for every year. Every year it’s a different group of kids and you want them to go out victorious. I am so delighted for this team. They worked so hard and faced a lot of adversity this year. To graduate the number of kids we did then lose two starters to injury and still get out here and handle that team was phenomenal.”
One of the keys to victory for the Huskers was the play of one of those seniors, Emily Hirsch, who was simply all over the field. One shining example of this was her hustle to save a groundball from going out of bounds, which led to a goal by senior captain Michelle Seger, assisted by another senior captain Rilea Fusco (2G, 3A), with 15:57 to go in the first half, putting the Huskers up 3-1.
“Emily is absolutely incredible to have—she’s such a great teammate,” Seger said. “Her play on the field is just so good. She can always pick up a groundball. She always keeps her head up.”
Seger scored a game-high four goals, three of them coming in a first half that saw the Huskers take a 6-2 lead.
“We definitely kept possession of the ball,” Seger said. “Our draws were really key for this game. We knew how important every possession was and we took care of it.”
Defensively, the Huskers were stifling, as they shut down the explosive Tuskers, and held their star, Livy Rosenzweig, scoreless, due in large part to the stellar play of Ellen O’Callaghan (1G, 1A), who was face-guarding her.
“I knew I could focus on her because my defense had my back no matter what,” O’Callaghan said. “I really just focused on her the whole game and having the insurance my defense was there for me, I didn’t have to worry about that. That was definitely a key.”
Fusco scored the final goal with 4:50 left in the contest, making it 9-4.
“I knew we wanted to score more to get a better cushion,” Fusco said. “Any goal feels amazing but having a goal in the section final is definitely special when I’m having my hyped teammates give me a bunch of hugs. I love them.”
Kelsey McDonnell (1G), Ciara Frawley (1G) and Lexi DelBene (4 saves) also earned their way into the Huskers’ box score.
Yorktown (11-8) rolled past visiting No. 5 John Jay-Cross River 16-6 on May 23 in the Class B semifinals, led by Fusco (4G, 5A), Seger (4G, 1A), Caroline Keenaghan (4A), Ciara Frawley (3G), O’Callaghan (2G, 1A), McDonnell (2G), Katie Vogel (1G), McKenna Duff (1A) and DelBene (four saves).
“Today our key to success on offense was definitely patience and working together, just trying to find the open girl,” Fusco said. “The defense played very well and made sure they were talking and working as a unit. They really did a great job and played with intensity during the whole game.”