Holy Child Field Hockey
Gryphons Fall to Hackley in Semifinals
By Melanie Cane
In her first season as the Gryphon’s Field Hockey head coach, Louisa Polos, along with the assistant coaches, set out to improve the program by building the girls’ confidence and skills. The coaches more than achieved their goal — the team earned the third seed in the NYSAIS tournament and made it all the way to the semifinals, where they lost to Hackley, the No. 2 seed, 3-2, in a thrilling double overtime game. in won their quarterfinal matchup against sixth-seeded Riverdale 4-0.
In their quarterfinal match-up against Riverdale, the Gryphons played with intensity from the first whistle. After several near misses and corner plays, senior captain Martina Garate-Griot, whose speed and stick work sparked the Gryphons’ offense, scored the first goal off a corner pass in front of the box. A few minutes later, Cynthia DeMarinis scored off of a Caroline Cleary assist.
Due to the stellar play of Holy Child’s midfield, led by Emily Panarella, the Falcons were unable to get the ball past their 25-yard line until the final six minutes left in the half. And even then, they did not get a shot off despite earning a corner, as Holy Child’s defense stole the ball on the in-pass. Meanwhile, the Gryphons’ midfield and attack pounded away, getting off ten strikes in the half. The half ended with the Gryphons up 2-0.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Holy Child’s Sara Shultis scored from a scramble in front of the net. She was assisted by Lekha English. Later in the half, Shultis almost struck again with a shot off the post. Garate-Griote scored the last goal off a corner pass at 23:12.
With a secure 4-0 lead, the Gryphons temporarily relaxed, and Riverdale tried to capitalize, moving the ball upfield. But the Gryphons defense, led by Claire Doyle and Charlotte Hurley, quickly responded by interfering with passes and bringing the ball back to their side. There was a lot of action at Holy Child’s goal in the final 15 minutes, but they were unable to convert. The Gryphons had 16 shots. Amazingly, the Falcons did not have a single one.
Coach Polos couldn’t have been prouder of his team. “We passed well, saw the field better, and hustled to the ball. The girls played hard, stayed focused, and executed what we had practiced. She added, “We were really happy with the third seed in the NYSAIS and the fact that every game our players continued to get better.”
Meaghan Mosher outmaneuvering a Falcons defender.
Senior captain Martina Garate-Griot shellacking a shot.