Pawling High School’s field hockey team struck early in each half and won its first Section 1 title since 2005, capturing the Class C crown with a 2-0 win over North Salem on Tuesday at Brewster High School.
Both Tiger goals came in the first two minutes of each half. Isabella Grillo scored off an Amber Cody pass 1:28 into the game, and Lana Felice converted a rebound off a Cody shot 1:34 into the second half to lift fourth-seeded Pawling to the win.
“We knew going in they were going to come out hard and we said we have to come out fast and furious,” Pawling coach June Lagan said.
Pawling’s defense and goaltender Catie Dickinson (three saves) were able to hold second-seeded North Salem, and specifically its top player Olivia Barnard, scoreless.
“She has great stickwork,” Lagan said of Barnard. “She’s a top player. We were able to slow her down and just frustrate her a little bit, maybe. We knew we needed to contain them. We practiced different things. The kids are quick learners.”
Pawling (11-6-1) advances to a state quarterfinal at 1 p.m. on Saturday at White Plains High School against the winner of today’s Long Island championship between Carle Place and Pierson/Bridgehampton. Pawling advanced to a state semifinal in 2004.
“We’re quick and our stickwork is pretty darn good,” Lagan said. “When we’re on, we’re pretty darn good. They’re a pretty close-knit team. It helps that they’re friends with each other. ‘We’re family’ is how we’ve been saying it since Day One.”
Lagan said regardless of which team Pawling plays in the next round, the team will be prepared.
“It’s exciting,” Lagan said. “We’re pumped. We’ll be ready. We’ve got a couple of days to regroup. The kids have been working hard all year and it’s paying off. They’re a great team and they work very well together. It was a total team effort and they never gave up. Our motto is one step at a time, one game at a time. I’m very proud of the kids.”