Raiders Fall in Hard Fought Battle

FrancoSophia Franco takes a hard shot.Over the past decade, the path to the sectional championship for Scarsdale’s field hockey team has almost always run through the Mamaroneck Tigers. The 2019 season proved no different as the third seeded Raiders faced the second seeded Tigers on October 30 in a semifinal standoff. The winner would earn the right to play Horace Greeley in the finals on November 2. On a night that featured a constant drizzle, the Raiders dropped a tough 2-0 decision to the Tigers.FelderFelder, Novenstein and Carrol on the move.

This contest marked the rubber match for the teams this season – with each team defending their home turf successfully with one goal victories. Both teams were coming off of solid victories in the quarter finals – with Scarsdale defeating White Plains 5-1 and Mamaroneck edging Carmel 3-1. The Tigers were riding a six game winning streak – not suffering a loss or tie since their loss to the Raiders. The Raiders appeared to be improving with every game over the final few weeks.

The contest was played under the lights and both teams came out with an abundance of energy and the crowd was certainly the largest and loudest that either team came across during the season – and added to the electric atmosphere.

With three minutes gone, Sophie Carroll stole the ball and made a nice drive down the field. Mamaroneck’s goalie came way out of the crease to kick the ball away. Scarsdale controlled the ball and the tempo for almost the entire half. Carroll and fellow co-captain Liz Scarcella were flying all over the field and kept the Tiger’s big guns in check.

ScarcellaCo-captain Liz Scarcella races down the field with the ball.With a little over eight minutes left in the half, a Mamaroneck midfielder drew a green card – giving the Raiders a one man power play for two minutes. However, Scarsdale couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Scarsdale had many long shots and passes go quite long down the field – but just past the Scarsdale forwards – and out of bounds past the Tiger goal.

With just over five minutes left in the half, Mamaroneck began to put pressure on Scarsdale deep in the Scarsdale half of the field. Finally, with 2:49 left the Tigers Sophie Showers scored the lone goal of the half from the right side of the crease – beating Scarsdale goalie Angela Hoey. The half ended with the score 1-0 in favor of the Tigers

Scarsdale came out for the second half particularly charged up – and drove the ball down the field – leading to the first corner of the entire game. After a scrum in front of the Mamaroneck goal, the Tigers had a long drive and had the ball in a great position. With a little over six minutes gone in the half, Hoey made the first of several fabulous saves – plucking a ball out of the air that was heading for cage. Moments later, Hoey came up large again off of a corner - making a diving save across the goal and saving yet another sure goal. The Tigers received a corner off of the play, and converted a nice pass for a goal – making the score 2-0 with a little over 19 minutes left in the contest.

The Raiders kept fighting and nearly scored right after the goal. Co-captain Sophie Franco, who appeared to be playing with a limp in the second half, almost converted a pass into a goal – narrowly missing the cage. With only ten minutes to go, the Tigers goalie made a magnificent save off of an MJ Callahan shot. The final minutes of the game saw Scarsdale drive, and continuing to apply pressure to the Mamaroneck’s defense. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they were not able to convert on their excellent penetration and Scarsdale’s season ended as the final horn ended and the scoreboard showed a 2-0 score in the Tiger’s favor.

Looking back, the Raiders had a fantastic season – finishing with a 13-4-2 record. Senior co-captains Franco, Scarcella, and Carroll along with Andie Novenstein led the team both on and off the field admirably and represented Scarsdale quite well – and continued the legacy of a consistently strong program. Coaches Lauren Barton and Sarah Martinez, in their second season coaching the Raiders, have created a very strong culture which should carry through to the future. The Raiders will field a very strong squad in 2020 – with experienced players such as MJ Callahan, Olivia Franco, Emily Felder, Angela Hoey, Maeve Jacobson, Victoria Wilson, and Haley Matusz.

Coach Lauren Barton said the following: In our last game, the girls played with heart, poise, discipline, love for the game, respect for their teammates, opponents and referees. They left nothing on the field. The hardest part of our last game was recognizing that in fact that was our last game together as a team. Our captains and seniors were incredible role models and united the team in every capacity. As we circled up after the final whistle blew, the girls began sharing their memories of the season....from our preseason trip up to Boston, the ropes course, various games and practices, and countless team bonding events. As a team, we created great memories this season and learned lessons that the girls will hopefully take with them as they move forward.