If Sunday’s rematch of last year’s New York State Association of Independent Schools field hockey final is half the game last year’s was admission should be charged – and high-priced admission, at that.
Defending champion Hackley edged Holy Child 1-0 Friday to earn a return trip to the finale.
Rye Country Day, which won the NYSAIS championship 2011-14 but fell to the Hornets last year 2-1 in a shootout following two overtime periods, routed Riverdale 6-0 Friday.
A game between Hackley and RCDS earlier this season wasn’t quite as dramatic as last year’s final but perhaps showed how evenly matched the two teams remain. RCDS won 3-2.
But Hackley coach Jenny Leffler is hopeful her team will play with the poise it showed during Friday’s win.
“I think mostly we have to come out and play our game,” Leffler said. “I think the girls were pretty nervous the last time we played them. I think if they come out and have fun that will be a big difference for us.
“I do think they had a great time today. They were in the right frame of mind today from the time they got on the bus and even before that. I’m hoping they’ll just ride on the excitement they had today.”
Neither team, of course, wants another nerveracking shootout, Rye Country Day coach Georgette Summers, saying, “Oh, my gosh, yes, absolutely,” of avoiding that.
She believes the Wildcats’ games last week against Millbrook School from Dutchess (an overtime win) and Canterbury School of Connecticut (a loss), two very strong teams, will help ready her team for Sunday’s rematch
“For us to win on Sunday we need to execute, particularly corners, and most of all we need to connect as a team, which we have been doing,” Summers said. “I really feel like our team is in a good position.”
Recaps of Friday’s semifinals follow:
Hackley 1, Holy Child 0: In the NYSAIS semifinals at No. 2 Holy Child, Jenny Canoni stopped 11 shots for the shutout and Karina Bridger scored the game’s only goal off a Jessica Feldman assist with fewer than 20 minutes left in the game.
Charlotte Wertimer had seven saves for the Gryphons.
No. 3 seed Hackley will play No. 1 seed Rye Country Day for the NYSAIS championship Sunday at noon at Manhattanville College.
Rye Country Day 6, Riverdale 0: In a NYSAIS semifinal played at Rye Country Day Friday, Oliva Friedberg had a goal and three assists and Elizabeth Friedberg had a goal and an assist to lead the No. 1 seed Wildcats.
Cate Mollerus, Natalie Alpert, Cristina Johnson, Katherine Holtby and Marisa Kim also scored and Annabelle Lui added an assist.
Sophia Moore had nine saves for No. 4 Riverdale.
Ruth Reynolds had seven saves and Genny Kortick three saves for the Wildcats, who will attempt to regain the NYSAIS crown from Hackley Sunday at noon at Manhattanville College.