Mired in a scoreless tie with host Rye Neck High School late in the semifinals of the Section 1 Class C field hockey tournament Tuesday, third-seeded Pawling’s experience shined through.
Pawling scored twice in a one-minute span to beat Rye Neck, 2-0, and earn a spot in Thursday’s sectional final.
Pawling (20-4-2), the defending sectional champion, will take on top-seeded Bronxville 7:30 at Brewster High School.
“We struggled in the first half. We didn’t play well at all,” Pawling coach June Lagan said. “Second half, certain players started to step up. The seniors certainly were a part of that.”
Senior Lana Felice broke through with a goal with 11:48 left in the game, assisted by junior Lauren Folchetti. With 10:50 left, senior Taylor Arnold scored, assisted by junior Ashley Cody.
“I think they were just so relieved that they finally did score,” Lagan said. “You could see that their whole body mannerisms just went into ‘We can do this.’ … They were able to step up their game and they were able to, as we like to say, play Pawling ball. And they did.”
Goalie Lily Reid (six saves) turned in the shutout despite heavy pressure from Rye Neck, which took 12 corners.
Pawling lost to Bronxville 2-0 earlier this season, after upsetting the Broncos in last year’s sectional semifinals.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Lagan said.
Mike Benischek: Twitter @BenischekPJ