The Southampton field hockey team (11-8) took another giant step toward a state championship with a come-from-behind victory over previously undefeated Barker High School (17-1-1), 2-1, during the New York State Class C semifinals at Cicero North Syracuse High School on Saturday morning.
Freshman forward Chloe Schmidt scored to tie the game for Southampton at the 24:36 mark in the second half. Sophomore Meggie Gallo’s goal with 7:48 remaining put the Mariners ahead for good, 2-1, and helped secure their spot in the championship game.
Southampton’s run came to an end the next morning, when they lost 7-0 to Greene High School in the championship game. Greene competed in Class A last season and was the runner-up in the state after losing to Sachem East.
Southampton trailed Barker, 1-0, after the first half despite pressuring the Lady Raider defense with five corner attempts, three of which nearly resulted in scores. Southampton was knocking at the door, but could not put the ball in the goal—surprising, considering Barker had only allowed opponents two goals for the entire season. Schmidt answered the call when it was needed.
“Well, it was like a scramble in front of the goal and I saw the ball,” said Schmidt. “There was a little spot open in the goal and I hit it in there.”
Schmidt secured the ball near the stroke line and swept it in past the Lady Raider goalie. She was credited with her third career goal and her first game-tying score.
Gallo is no stranger to scoring in the clutch. She has now scored three goals in the last two games. Her two goals against Friends Academy helped Southampton clinch the Class C Long Island Championship. “It popped up off the goalie’s pad and it was in mid-air, I just slapped it in,” said Gallo, who now has back-to-back game-winning goals.
Southampton senior Captain Emily Wesnofske and Coach Kim Hannigan were proud of the team’s effort.
“I’ve been on this team for five years and we’ve been working so hard and it feels really good that all of hard work finally paid off,” said Wesnofske. “Southampton hasn’t won a state title since 1999, so we’re hoping to bring home a state title this weekend.”
This is Hannigan’s first trip to the state championships and she said that making the achievement wasn’t really a goal at the beginning of the season. “We graduated 10 seniors last year,” she said. “Our goal was to fill in a lot of spots and work them hard, to do well and be one of the strongest teams.
“I’m so proud of them, they’ve worked so, so hard,” continued Hannigan, whose parents, Barbara and Vinny Hannigan, surprised her by driving in from the eastern shore of Virginia to watch the team compete.