Whitney Point’s first field hockey state title since 1999 will have to wait for another year.
The Golden Eagles looked like the better team Saturday, but missed opportunities proved costly as Section 11’s Pierson/Bridgehampton prevailed in the second shootout to earn a 2-1 victory in a Class C semifinal Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Ana Sherwood’s goal in the second shootout clinched the victory for the Shakers (15-4), as she backhanded a shot past WP goalie Danell Jones for an insurmountable 3-1 lead with only one shooter left for each team.
WP finished 14-4, with the hope that better days lie ahead with a youthful roster manned by only four seniors.
“We’re young, we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time,” WP coach Nicole Huston said. “The fever is there.
“I’m proud of their season … and they played well today, it’s just that on this stage it can be difficult.”
The teams played to a 1-all tie through regulation, setting up sudden-death overtime where the teams play 7-on-7.
In the first 10-minute overtime period, WP seventh-grader Leanne Bough almost ended the game seconds in, getting the ball in transition and firing a shot that barely went wide right. The Golden Eagles continued to have the better of the scoring chances over the remainder of the two overtime periods, but neither team could break through.
In the shootout, each team gets five shooters, with the shooter starting 25 yards from the cage and getting 10 seconds to score.
The first shootout ended tied at 2, with WP’s final shooter, Courtney Dunham, missing on a chance to win it when Pierson goalie Sam Duchemin came out on her and kicked the ball wide and out of play.
Pierson handily prevailed in the second shootout, converting on three of four shots, the last of those by Sherwood. Duchemin made two big stops in the second shootout.
It was yet another close call for Pierson, which had won two of its three previous postseason games in overtime with the other victory a one-goal win.
“That team is awesome, they played a transition game, they played an indoor style of game,” Pierson coach Shannon Judge said. “We played great team defense, that was the strategy. Just hold them, hold them, hold them.”
Whitney Point looked impressive early, dominating play from the onset.
The Golden Eagles missed on some good early chances, but finally got the lead when Bough scored on a hard shot just inside the circle with 14:15 remaining.
The lead was short-lived, however. On a scramble off a penalty corner, Pierson got the equalizer when Emmeline Luck scored from close range off a feed from Katherine Matthers to tie the score at 1 with 10:42 left in the first half.
It remained 1-all the rest of the way, despite Whitney Point’s superiority. The Golden Eagles out-shot the Shakers, 10-5.