NYACK, N.Y. – Top-seeded Lakeland (17-1-1) blanked No. 2 Somers, 4-0, at Nyack, on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Section 1 Class B championship game, to win their 11th straight sectional title and 20th overall under coach Sharon Sarsen.
“It was an honor to win with my teammates,” said Lakeland’s Keirra Ettere. “We worked in the off season and day by day in season to accomplish this goal of ours to win the section, and we are all so excited to be moving forward.”
Lakeland’s Lauren Salazar said that it really meant a lot to have a successful game.
“We are a new team this year and to know that we have the capability to do so many great things is an amazing feeling,” Salazar said. “We worked hard the whole game and having a great result was exactly what we were looking for. The legacy of Lakeland field hockey is very apparent and to know that with a lot of hard work and dedication we can create amazing opportunities for ourselves.”
Ettere scored the first goal with 12:17 left in the first half.
“It’s extremely important to be scrappy in the circle and that’s how my first goal came about,” Ettere said. “I had gotten a good first touch on the ball in front of the defender near far post and pushed it hard into the back of the goal quickly, knowing that we needed to get on the scoreboard. It felt amazing to score and made me extremely hyped up to keep playing with my teammates.”
Ettere put Lakeland up 2-0 with 24:55 to go in the second half.
“It was important to get the first goal in the second half because it definitely pumped us up and helped my team and I regain confidence to keep scoring right off the bat,” Ettere said.
Salazar made it 3-0 off a rebound with 11:02 left in the game.
“Everyone was very scrappy in front of the goal and to just get touches on the ball created many opportunities,” Salazar said. “Erin Daly touched the ball off the goalies’ pads to near post and I just had quick flick into the goal. It was an amazing feeling to score and my teammates running around me really got me excited.”
Emma Fon (1G) and Jenna McCrudden (1A) also produced offensively with Celeste Pagliaroli recording the shutout in goal.
Lakeland will now host the Region 1 title game against Section 9 champion Rondout Valley at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, with the winner going to the state final four.
“It’s a great feeling to know that we will be on our home turf,” Salazar said. “It’ll be so exciting to come full circle from preseason practices on our turf to a region final game, and just to know that we’ve made it this far is a huge honor.”
Salazar said that the game will be great competition and a really big test for the team.
“We need to have a positive mindset and just keep working hard until the buzzer goes off at the end of the game,” Salazar said. “I know that no matter the outcome, Lakeland field hockey is forever.”
Lakeland won its semifinal game 6-0 against visiting No. 5 John Jay (Cross River) on Oct. 30, with Emma Halderman (2G, 1A), scoring the first goal.
“It was such a good feeling to know that we had a little bit of an advantage over them and I think it really gave us a lot of energy going forward,” Halderman said.
Fon put Lakeland up 3-0 shortly before halftime.
“It really helped us to pick up our game,” Fon said of scoring before halftime.“If we keep scoring, it helps us gain more confidence.”
Shortly after a John Jay scoring chance, Halderman made it 4-0 with 14:26 remaining in the second half.
“3-0, is still a close game, so we really wanted to make sure when they came close, we answered back quickly, we did, and we were all definitely super excited about that,” Halderman said.
Fon got her second goal to make it 5-0, with 10:47 left in the contest.
“It felt really good, just helping out the team,” Fon said. “It really, really helps in getting scrappy in front of the goal.”
McCrudden (1G, 1A), Salazar (1G, 1A), Frankie Fava (1A), Ettere (1A) and Pagliaroli (1 save) also produced against John Jay.
Katie Lemma, Mia Smith, Jaden Ray, Emma Ryan, Sara Costa, Kristen O’Shea, Gabby Alfinito, Emily McGovern, Raquel Nieves, Samantha Graap, Meaghan Casey, Nancy Pagliaroli, Daniella Hart, Isabella Basulto, and Maeve Dineen-Herzog, are also part of the Hornets’ sectional title squad.