NORTH SALEM – Kaitlyn Thayer’s friend had a dream, then another, and finally a third.
In each case, the subject was of Thayer’s North Salem field hockey team. In the first dream, North Salem beat Pawling. In the second, the team lost.
The third, which occurred Monday night, was the tie-breaker in which North Salem won, a grinning Thayer said
“It was cool – foreshadowing,” the junior defenseman said.
Indeed, although her friend’s dreams didn’t include Thayer being the hero.
The third-year varsity player and captain scored her first-ever varsity goal as No. 4 North Salem edged No. 5 Pawling 1-0 Tuesday in the Class C semifinals, played at North Salem High School.
“We’ve been on the other side so many times,” North Salem coach Jen Frohman said.
In fact, Frohman has lost count, but she knew Pawling had eliminated her team in the sectional playoffs in at least the past three years.
Last week, the two teams – both in somewhat of a rebuilding year with Pawling having just two seniors and North Salem none — battled to a scoreless tie.
Pawling finished the season 8-6-2.
North Salem, which improved to 10-4-3, will face top-seeded Bronxville (14-3) on Friday.
Earlier this season, the Tigers lost to the Broncos 3-0, although it was a 1-0 game with seven minutes to play.
Of the upcoming game, Frohman said, “You never know. The girls are hungry and have nothing to lose.”
Tuesday’s game might have been low-scoring, but both teams, Pawling in particular, had its chances.
Down 1-0, Pawling dominated most of the second half, winning races to loose balls and connecting on long passes.
“They’re so good at stopping the ball and coming to the ball. I think that’s something we can learn from them,” Thayer said.
But Pawling repeatedly shot wide and never got a shot on net during the game. North Salem only had two on Pawling’s Kayla Chavarri.
It could have been three but when Mariana Alpizar got loose on a fast break with 10 minutes left, defenseman Melissa Talamo raced across the field to stop her.
Player of the game: Thayer gets top honors with her winning goal.
Turning point: That came with Thayer’s goal with fewer than three minutes gone in the game.
It came off a corner with Thayer inbounding the ball to Natalie Intrieri, who shot on net. Alpizar, who had a big game, redirected it to Thayer, who, manning the post, tipped the ball in.
Stat line: North Salem had four corners and Pawling three.
Quotables: Pawling coach June Lagan was unhappy a couple more corners weren’t called against North Salem, terming the non-calls an “opportunity not allowed.”
Frohman said her defensive backs and midfielders “played older than they are.”
Of the North Salem-Pawling games, she said, “Typically, it comes down to one goal. We luckily got that today.”