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Nov 6, 2018 10:48 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Lady Whalers Lose Lopsided Game To Carle Place In L.I. Final

Nov 6, 2018 10:58 AM

The Pierson field hockey team’s season came to a screeching halt at Berner Middle School in Massapequa on Saturday in a 7-0 loss to Carle Place in the Long Island Class C Championship.

The Lady Frogs made it clear from the beginning that they were the superior team, taking a 6-0 lead to halftime en route to the win. It was the second straight Long Island title for Carle Place (10-3), which advanced to the New York State Final Four.

Pierson (6-10) advanced to the playoffs this season despite having a losing record because it had the best record among the four ‘C’ teams that play against mostly Class B squads in the highly competitive Division II. The Lady Whalers did not have trouble getting past Port Jefferson—a team it beat twice during the regular season—in the county final last week, but knew they were facing a much more formidable opponent in Carle Place. Despite having one of the top goalies on Long Island in senior Charlotte Johnson, Pierson, a young team, did not have enough firepower to contend with the more talented and seasoned Lady Frogs. Johnson made more than 20 saves on the day, but was under fire for the entire game, as Carle Place had 18 penalty corners and 29 shots on goal. Pierson had just one shot on goal for the game.

The Lady Whalers will say good-bye to several key seniors, but has most of its young roster coming back next year. Johnson is headed to Duke University, where she will continue her field hockey career, and head coach Kim Hannigan said that what she brought to the program, both on and off the field, will be sorely missed.

“Char has been an incredible leader and role model to the younger players in the program the past two years,” Hannigan said. “She is not only a defensive force, voice, and wall of our team, but a true captain bringing the girls together. She works all year long dedicating herself to the sport. She attends goalie training off Long Island and has worked with Kaitlyn Daniels privately for additional instruction. Truly, the hard work has just begun for Char, and I know she is up for the challenge.”

Senior midfielder Paige Schaefer will also continue her career at the next level, set to play at Lehigh next year.

“Paige is the core of our midfield,” Hannigan said. “She does a great job distributing the ball to our offense, transferring the ball from one side of the field to the other, setting the pace of play, and communicating to her teammates. If Paige is having a strong game, her teammates follow suit. She motivates her team by example.”

Hannigan added that senior Olivia Aupperlee, a defender and captain, is also hoping to play in college next year, and said that senior Sophia Bitis, who missed most of the season with a knee injury, will play lacrosse at Stetson University next year.

The future is bright for Pierson, despite those losses. This year’s team included two juniors, two sophomores, seven freshmen, and three eighth-graders.

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