Thursday, December 5, 2013
By Steve Craig firstname.lastname@example.org
YORK — Being a heavy favorite and with rain increasing, the last thing York High’s field hockey team wanted was to give Freeport any hope in Tuesday’s Western Class B quarterfinal.
Freshman Lily Posternak sensed the urgency, battled ferociously for an early possession, then rifled a reverse stick swipe into the goal after 38 seconds.
The rain let up but not York’s offense. Taylor Simpson, Devin Datsis and Kathleen Cronin added first-half goals, and No. 1 York dispatched Freeport 4-0 to run its record to 15-0.
“Obviously the other team is going to start off strong, too, so we want to kind of score first but still play like it’s a 0-0 game,” Posternak said.
York has outscored opponents 71-1 this season.
York Coach Barb Marois said her team’s quick start was, “just what I ordered. Actually it was more like what you hope for. You hope that you can get off to a fast start, especially when the weather doesn’t look very nice.”
York will host No. 4 Leavitt in a regional semifinal Saturday.
Leavitt swamped No. 5 Lake Region 4-0 in its quarterfinal. The Hornets are the last team to beat York, 1-0 in last year’s regional final.
Freeport finished its first season in Class B with a 6-9 record.
“We didn’t even talk upset,” Coach Marcia Wood said. “We set little goals. Let’s make them hit it into their feet, or get a free hit, or get it into the circle, or get a corner. Let’s focus on all these little things and see if these little things turn into big goals and big accomplishments.”
Freeport did keep the Wildcats scoreless in the second half.
It also used physical play, hustle and extremely hard free hit drives by Abby Smith to agitate the Wildcats at times.
When the halftime buzzer sounded, both benches were emotional. Wood let the refs know she felt York was taking too long to set up penalty corner attempts, and Simpson was upset over what she perceived to be unnecessarily rough play.
Marois said keeping the emotions in check and knowing teams will present new challenges will be one aspect of determining how far her talented team can go.
“Absolutely. Teams will do that. You have to be ready for anything. You may be faced with a challenge you haven’t seen all year,” Marois said.
York will also present challenges. Posternak is a two-way ballhawker who can dribble-dodge around multiple defenders. When teams overplay her individual moves, she’ll feed passes to wings like Alie Jones and the Kelly twins, Kayla and Kara.
Simpson showed her goal-scoring prowess when she took a penalty corner pass from Posternak, dodged a defender, drew out and maneuvered by Freeport goalie Morgan Karnes (9 saves) for a hard forehand shot that made it 2-0 in the ninth minute.
York also brings talent off the bench. Datsis is a field version of the ice hockey forward lurking for tips and quick deflections as she did off Posternak’s second assist. Madeline Leroux went in at right forward and generated an assist on Cronin’s goal.
“York can score at any angle from any position,” Wood said.Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: email@example.comTwitter: SteveCCraig