BREWSTER – Before Tuesday’s Section 1 Class A final between No. 1 Mamaroneck and No. 2 Scarsdale, teams that had split their season series in the regular season, Mamaroneck coach John Savage said the Tigers’ first task was to keep the ball away from Scarsdale midfielder Erin Nicholas.
Another key, he indicated, was stopping Scarsdale on its penalty corners.
But that didn’t happen – at least not enough.
The Raiders, who prior to their meeting in September hadn’t beaten Mamaroneck since 2004, beat the Tigers for the second time Tuesday – this time when it mattered most.
Scarsdale, 16-2-1, got goals in the first and second half to claim the Class A championship by a 2-0 score.
Mamaroneck, the two-time defending Class A state champions, finishes the year 15-2-2.
The Raiders will play Section 9’s Kingston at 3 p.m. Saturday in the regional final at Valhalla High School.
The win gave 17-year Scarsdale coach Sharon Rosenthal her first sectional title.
“This means everything,” Rosenthal said. “Mamaroneck is a tough team to beat. They’re the big rival we have the most respect for. This is one of those moments I can’t even explain. I’m so proud of my seniors.”
Two seniors who deserved a lot of praise include defender Angie Burns and Nicholas, who stymied Mamaroneck’s normally high-powered offense.
The Tigers led Scarsdale on penalty corners 14-9 but most of their shots never got near the goal, thanks in part to Burns and Nicholas stopping them.
Nicholas also credited the team’s parents, saying they had scouted Mamaroneck, with one dad filming its penalty corners during the playoffs against Horace Greeley.
Of Nicholas, Mamaroneck head coach John Savage said, “Not only did she stop our penalty corners but she stopped our drives in the middle of the field. She has to be given credit. She’s a great player. But it didn’t help that we hit the ball right to her. We didn’t use our skills to get execution. And we gave up too many corners.”
Player of the game: Nicholas, who scored Scarsdale’s first goal, was its leading player throughout the game and stayed in the game despite getting shaken up in the second half.
Turning point: In an odd twist, after Scarsdale lost its most recent game to Mamaroneck on a shot off a penalty corner after time expired, Nicholas scored with time expired off a penalty corner at the end of the first half.
That goal seemed to lift the Raiders from there on out.
Stat line: Mamaroneck senior goalie Charlotte Mackie played even better than her eight official saves indicated, in part making sprawling and through-traffic stops.
With her team down 1-0, she charged out to stone Nicholas, who was left alone in front of the net.
Her counterpart, Lila Horwood, was also solid, recording a six-save shutout.
Scarsdale’s big insurance goal came off sophomore Emma Schwartz’s stick off a rebound on a penalty corner with 10:56 to play.
Quotables: Nicholas pointed to her team’s recent loss to Mamaroneck as fueling Tuesday’s win.
“Definitely after losing with no time left I thought that was big motivation for the playoffs,” Nicholas said. “I thought it helped us be hungry.”
Savage said he believes Scarsdale will make the state finals.
And Nicholas clearly wouldn’t mind that.
“We know the season is not over,” she said. “It’s just the beginning.”