CICERO, N.Y. - One of the many consistent aspects of the Mamaroneck field hockey teams game this season has been its ability to generate penalty corners at a high rate.
The only drawback for the Tigers is that they have not finished them as much as they would like, especially during the postseason. This changed, Saturday.
Mamaroneck converted two penalty corners and it was the difference in a 3-0 win over unbeaten Liverpool (Section 3) in a New York State Public High School Ahtletic Association Class A field hockey semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
The Tigers (20-1) will play Sachem East (Section 11) for the title, 10 a.m., Sunday. Sachem East defeated Greene (Section 4) in strokes. This is Mamaronecks third consecutive state-final appearance and fifth overall since 2004.
Jessica Gardiner had a goal and an assist for the Tigers. Hannah Fitzgerald and Alicia Meglio also scored. Liverpool, 18-1-1, had only allowed 10 goals on the season. Playing in the state semis makes players do amazing things for a team, Gardiner said. Weve been working so hard on corners this week. I just think we had the drive to get the ball in goal. Gardiner and Meglio each scored on corners.
Hannah Fitzgerald gave Mamaroneck a 1-0 lead at the 9:55 mark. Gardiner picked up the ball in the circle and put a shot on goal. The shot was blocked and was loose, but Fitzgerald pounced on it and deposited it in. Scoring that first goal was great, Gardiner said. Getting the lead was big and really a positive thing.
Gardiner doubled the lead to 2-0, nine minutes later. Kayla Robinson received the insert pass and sent a shot to the center of the circle where Gardiner re-directed it past Liverpool goalie Mary Anne Reed.
Mamaroneck went in with that 2-0 lead thanks to its defense and the play of goalie Nina Kumar. Even though it had the lead, Mamaroneck was not content. There was not going to be any letdown, Gardiner said. Having a 2-0 lead was good, but any team can come back. I am so proud that we did not let down.
Gardiner, who has been on Mamaronecks four consecutive sectional-title teams, is looking forward to the final. Its an amazing thing to be a part of, Gardiner said. I just have a gut feeling that we can do it. I have never been so excited.
Liverpool 0 0 -- 0 Mamaroneck 2 1 -- 3
Goals -- Jessica Gardiner, Alicia Meglio, Hannah Fitzgerald. Assists -- Molly Cohen, Kayla Robinson, Gardiner. Saves -- L: Mary Ann Reed 7; Mk: Nina Kumar 7.
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