LAGRANGEVILLE, N.Y. -- Jessica Gardiner was a freshman when her older sister, Charlotte, helped lead Mamaroneck to an undefeated regular season and the 2008 Section 1 Class A field hockey title.
Gardiner reveled in the excitement and the accomplishment, but understood Charlotte and the seniors made it happen.
On Sunday, Jessica Gardiner got her opportunity to savor the moment as she and her senior teammates led top-seeded Mamaroneck to a 3-1 victory over sixth-seeded Ossining in the Section 1 Class A championship game at Arlington High School.
Mamaroneck won its fourth consecutive sectional title and sixth overall since 2004. The Tigers move on to the regional final at noon Saturday against Section 9 champ Kingston. The game will be played at the Milton Sports Dome in Milton. The winner advances to the state final four, held Nov. 19-20 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Its amazing, now that I am a senior, said Gardiner, who will attend Colgate next year and play field hockey. Every time is just as exciting as the last time we won.
Since 2004, Mamaroneck has played in every Section 1 Class A final. The Tigers won the 2004 state title and have been a finalist three other years.
Mamaroneck Coach John Savage has watched the program evolve into one of the elite in the state.
I am truly blessed to have been around such a great group of young ladies and coaches, Savage said. The girls put in the extra time playing championship field hockey as do the coaches, especially Tricia Miller, who has helped make them great young ladies. And I also have parents who have been great.
Mamaroneck went in at halftime with a 2-0 lead on goals by Jessica Corbin and Gardiner. Corbin gave the Tigers the lead at the 9:30 mark and Gardiner doubled the lead on a goal in the final two minutes assisted by Kayla Robinson, who would assist on Rachel Brissettes score in the second half.
The Tigers had some added incentive in this game. Gardiner noted that in 2009, Mamaroneck needed double overtime to beat a very good Ossining team.
The entire bus ride here, there was no talking, Gardiner said. We were all listening to music and we were focused. We knew what we had to do and we did it. I am really proud of how well we played.
Ossining threw a scare into Mamaroneck when Alex Cristello scored to make it 2-1, but Brissette answered right back for the Tigers. Ossining had an opportunity to close the gap to one goal with four minutes remaining, but a penalty stroke went wide.
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