Raiders Field Hockey Team Routs Ossining in First Round of Playoffs and White Plains in Second Round

FH1Sophia Franco, Sophie Carroll, and Haley Matusz surround the Pride's goal early. The “second season” for Scarsdale’s field hockey team began in splendid fashion as the Raiders took on the Ossining Pride on October 23rd in a first round conference sectional under the lights at Butler Field. Donning its home white uniform on a brisk autumn night, the Raiders controlled the tempo and the ball for almost all of the contest. The Raiders came prepared as coach Lauren Barton said, “we worked on every aspect of our game as our record is 0-0 going into the playoffs”. This was evident as Scarsdale featured an all-around effort against the Pride as both the offense and defense looked strong and dominated the Pride 6-1.

Scarsdale entered the match with an 11-3-2 overall record and a conference record of 3-1 – which earned them the 3 seed in the playoffs, while Ossining was 6-8-1 overall during the regular season and 0-3-1 in conference play.

The Raiders began the affair with the ball and immediately went to work moving the ball down field. With only 1:30 gone in the contest, Scarsdale was awarded a corner. The ball remained deep in Ossining territory for the next few minutes. At the five minute mark of the half, co-captain Liz Scarcella sent a cross by the Ossining goal that nearly led to an early score. 30 seconds and 2 corners later, the Raiders commenced their scoring parade with Haley Matusz banging in a rebound off an assist by Sophie Carroll.

RaidersDefenseRaider defense patrolling midfield.Scarsdale took control of the ball quickly after the goal and Emily Felder drove with the ball down the field. One minute later, co-captains Sophie Carroll and Sophia Franco connected for the Raiders second goal as Franco lifted the ball beautifully over the leaping Pride goalie and Carroll had her second assist of the game. Scarsdale stood with a 2-0 lead with only seven minutes elapsed in the affair. Of note, the Raiders were quite sharp on corners all night – turning an early season area of concern into a strength. Coach Barton commented that “this game gave us an opportunity to try out our corners – it was very helpful.”

The assault on the Pride’s defense and goal continued, and a short minute plus later Scarsdale struck again – making the score 3-0 - with another corner leading to Matusz’s second goal of the match off an assist from Andie Novenstein.

The Raiders continued to control the action for the next few minutes. After a nice stop by a Pride defenseman with 18 minutes left in the half, Ossining had its sole offensive moment of the evening – penetrating the Scarsdale half of the field and earning its first corner. The Corner went to Ossining’s Lily Barossi at very edge of the circle – who took a very long shot that beat Scarsdale goalie Angela Hoey.

The Raiders then controlled the ball for the remainder of the half. Several great saves by Ossining goalie Kylee Taxiera, held the swarm of Scarsdale players at bay for several more minutes. The Scarsdale offense was relentless while the midfielders did not allow the ball onto the Raider side of the field. At last, Taxiera could not contain the Raiders anymore and with five minutes left, Carroll scored with an assist from Scarcella. After several more Scarsdale drives, the half ended with the Raiders firmly in control 4-1.

The second half featured more of the same – as the Raiders were in complete control. Novenstein, Felder, Olivia Franco, Scarcella, and Defensemen Victoria Wilson, Maeve Jacobson, and MJ Callahan were solid in keeping the ball in the Pride’s half of the field. Coach Barton inserted Freshmen Riley Iasiello and Mackenzie Mauro – giving them valuable playoff experience.

Matusz Hat TrickMatusz finalizing her hat trick.With just under seven minutes left Matusz, off Scarcella’s second assist of the night, found the back of the Pride goal again – knotting a hat trick for the Attacker – and putting a bow on top of an enormous effort. Matusz is coming off a very strong sophomore season and has provided an important presence on offense all year. When asked about the team’s intensity during the playoffs she said, “we play every playoff game like it’s against (archrival) Mamaroneck.” The remainder of the game saw Scarsdale control the ball, and, with 35 seconds left in the game, Scarcella raced with the ball down the field and joined the goal party with only ten seconds remaining – ending the scoring and the contest with Scarsdale on top with a convincing 6-1 victory.

Scarsdale vs. White Plains

Scarsdale moved to the second round of the playoffs – defending its home field against White Plains on Saturday, October 26 at 2 pm. When asked about the White Plains team, Coach Barton said, “they are a strong team with a handful of strong players and goalie who played very well against us last year. The Raiders will enter the game with much momentum as Carroll added, “we are very confident in how we are playing.”

Led by its trio of Senior Captains, Scarsdale dominated its second round playoff game against neighboring White Plains 5-1.

Liz Scarcella and Sophia Franco tallied two goals apiece and Sophie Carroll added one while Carroll had two assists and Scarcella notched one.

The Raiders were in charge for the entire contest - defensemen Emily Felder, Olivia Franco, and Maeve Jacobson held the Tigers away from Scarsdale’s goal and helped keep the pressure on White Plains.

Scarcella noted the teams improvement over the season to this point by saying “ we play better and better in every practice and every game through our hard work.” Carroll expressed the urgency with the teams pace of play when she said that the team “didn’t want our season to end.”

FHWP1Goalie Angela Hoey dives for a save.Carroll also gave a perspective on the team’s approach by saying “ we play smart and move the ball around quickly”.

Coach Lauren Barton reflected on the season to date and her feelings - “ I feel so proud of this team .... the captains really unified us and they all look out for one another.

Scarsdale takes on its perennial arch-rival Mamaroneck in the Semi-finals on Wednesday October 30 on the road. The teams each took a one goal victory at their home fields during the regular season - with the Raiders prevailing in the last contest.

The team’s success was reflected in Barton’s post game comments regarding her teams chances vs. the Tigers exhibited confidence in her team by saying “when we play our game we will be successful .... we tend to play up to the level of our competition.”

FHWP2Franco scores one of her two goals.