Field hockey teams maintain middle-of-the-pack status

East Hampton, Southampton Bounce Back From Losses

East Hampton goalkeeper Tia Weiss jumps on top of the ball to make a save in the Bonackers’ 5-0 loss to Harborfields September 22. Independent/Gordon M. Grant

Southampton’s backbone is strong despite the season starting off more challenging than expected.

Team captains C.C. Wetter, Juliana Stein, and Emma Wesnofske lead the pack across the top, middle, and back sections of the field, and the three juniors’ experience has proved crucial across a difficult schedule. This was especially true when they propelled the Mariners to a 2-0 bounce-back win over Babylon September 28 following a 3-0 loss to Division II-leading Rocky Point. Wetter, an All-County honorable mention, scored off a penalty corner early in the second half to give Southampton (4-4) a 1-0 lead, and Stein, named All-Division in 2017, added the cushion.

“We lost six seniors, and it was hard to find a rhythm as we moved players around,” head coach Jackie Trelease said, adding that although there’s 11 juniors, Southampton boasts just one senior in goalkeeper Nicole Gutierrez. “The game against Babylon was the first where we started to look like what I’m used to with the passing and support they gave each other on the field.”

The Mariners made plenty of shots on goal, forcing Babylon goalkeeper Julia DeVoti to make 24 saves on the afternoon, but capitalizing has been a key place for improvement.

“I’m almost there with the lineup,” the head coach said. “It’s been hard with so many new faces, and young faces, but we moved Emma from center back to sweeper and she’s been very vocal and in control of the defense, and C.C. plays all year-round and is all business, leading with how she plays and practices. Juliana is trying to teach the girls how to be offensively aggressive. They each are in control of their lines and together create a strong middle.”

Trelease said she’s been pleasantly surprised by the improvement of junior Morgan Fullam, who has been working on her stick skills, and sophomore Keira Gill, who has stood out on defense and at midfield, helping to fill the void of the six senior starters that were lost to graduation last year.

East Hampton’s (4-3) Olivia Jarrett had a goal and an assist to lead the Bonackers (4-3) to a 4-0 shutout of the Greenport/Southold Porters September 26.

Communication proved key as five others found their way onto the stat sheet following a 5-0 loss to Harborfields September 22.

East Hampton head coach Nicole Ficeto said her girls responded
following a slow first half.

“This year the focus is on working as a team,” she said. “The communication enabled them to become more successful on offense, and they have been working on overlapping and balancing the field. They executed both skills within the Greenport game.”

Ficeto said her girls have also adapted well to adversity, saying the starting lineup has changed constantly throughout the season.

“The girls have been successful in adjusting to any changes I throw at them,” the coach said. “They believe in each other and themselves.”

While the Harborfields game went as expected, serving as a learning experience for the players, Ficeto was disappointed seeing a 1-0 lead to halftime lead against Shoreham-Wading River turn into a 4-1 loss back on September 20.

“The varsity players were not 100 percent because we had a virus spreading — the players were exhausted during the second half and mentally collapsed,” she said. “But the girls are seeing what off-season commitment develops, as far as stickwork and field awareness, and we played well against Harborfields — never gave up.”

Southampton looked to build off what it accomplished against Babylon when the team hosted Bayport-Blue Point (5-3) October 2, but results were not available by press time. East Hampton traveled to Babylon the same day. The two teams will square off against one another October 4 at Southampton at 6 PM.

desiree@indyeastend.com