Girls look to avenge last year’s Conference Championship: Varsity field hockey team makes a statement with a victory over Locust Valley

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Courtesy of Danielle Rosmarin

Senior captain Danielle Rosmarin controls the ball downfield as the girls varsity field hockey team beat Locust Valley 5-1. Rosmarin scored one goal and added an assist to lead the team to victory.

Aaron Brezel, Assistant Sports Editor

The varsity field hockey (3-0-0) team has started off strong once again, with the senior-laden and led team striding towards a second consecutive playoff berth.

On Sept. 21, they faced off against the Locust Valley Falcons (0-1-1).

“There was a lot of pressure going into this game because the Falcons are usually a solid team and because winning this game meant a league championship,” said coach Mr. Joseph Lederer.  “I felt like this win secures our status as a dominant team and particularly a dominate offense.  Hopefully teams will now know to be afraid when they play us.”

Locust Valley is a non-conference opponent, playing in Conference I, above the Vikings. The Vikings rose to the occasion in this crucial matchup to beat the Falcons, who were playing on their own turf, preserving their undefeated season and securing themselves a chance at becoming Conference II champions.

From the start of the game, the Vikings took a commanding lead with two goals in the opening minutes by junior Carrie Rybecky and senior captain Kristin Kujan.  Throughout the first half, the Vikings outmatched the sluggish Falcons on contested possessions.  Crisp passing and physical play consistently kept opponents on the defensive.  When the Falcons moved into Viking territory, the defense made sure they could not capitalize.  Senior captain Lauren Desimone added the exclamation point to a great first half by adding a goal, her fourth of the season, with 5:41 left to play.

The second half was filled with much of the same successes.  Senior captain Danielle Rosmarin scored her fifth goal of the season, ranking her second in Nassau County, three minutes into the final half.  Two minutes later, senior Olivia Anderson contributed the team’s fifth and final goal of the afternoon.  By that time, frustrated groans could be heard from the home crowd.

The Vikings’ only blemish came with 13 minutes left as Falcons scored their only goal of the game—just their second of the season.  In the end, it was a dominant performance in an important game and a huge confidence boost going forward into the rest of the season.  Additionally, this game was a perfect example of the style of play that the girls aspire to: a consistent defense that allows their high-powered offense to take charge of the game.

The team’s offense is led by Desimone, Rosmarin, and Kujan.  Desimone, with four goals and four assists on the season currently sits second in Nassau County and eighth in all of Long Island with eight points overall.  Close behind her with six points is Rosmarin, who has five goals and one assist on the season.  Kujan has added two assists and a goal of her own.

“Our offense is pretty successful because we have a lot of returning players,” said Rosmarin.  “Most of us have been going to field hockey camps at various colleges during the summer or have been playing on travel teams where our skills have improved.  We are all dedicated to the team and push ourselves during practice so we can play to the best of our ability.”

The girls’ commitment to success certainly shows.  In every game this season, the team has been able to put at least 10 shots on goal, a clear sign of their offense’s ability to keep the pressure on their opponents.

Amidst all of the offense’s success, the efforts of the defense have not gone unnoticed.  Going into the season, Port had a young, untested defense as a result of many seniors graduating.  As the season has progressed, the defense has continued to improve to the point of becoming another asset for the team.

“We are all really impressed by how hard they have worked and are really glad that they have had success,” said Rosmarin.

Not every win has come easily.  The more contested efforts highlight the Vikings defensive ability to excel in crucial situations.   Port showed incredible grit by pulling out two straight overtime victories against North Shore and Clarke for their first two wins of the season.

“Our strength and drive to win really showed with our consecutive overtime wins,” said junior and defensive starter, Caroline Rimmer.  “We always try to put forth our best effort, no matter what team we’re playing, but in particular, during those games, each girl gave one hundred and ten percent.  That was what we needed in order to win.”

The Vikings record of 4-0 currently has them tied for the conference lead with Carle Place and in a great position to make the playoffs.  Despite their early success, they want to keep their season in perspective.

“Right now we just want to focus on making the playoffs,” said Coach Lederer.  “Were on a good pace to do that but we still want to take it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.”

The team’s goal for this season is to build upon last year’s success, in which they compiled a 9-4 record before losing 6-0 to Massapequa in the county finals.  Going forward the vikings still have their work cut out for them.

Crucial to their playoff push will be maintaining their position in the standings, hopefully vying for a top seed. This will not be easy as they are now approaching a difficult portion of their schedule which will see them compete against several solid teams such as Oyster Bay and Sewanhaka

“All the teams we are going to face as the season progresses will pose some challenging. We have started off the season strong and we just hope to continue our winning streak.” said Carrie Rybecky.