Tigers capture their 10th title in row
Tigers rally from deficit to post 2-1 triumph in championship game
NEW PALTZ >> It was a perfect 10. Kingston High won its 10th consecutive Section 9, Class A field hockey championship in dramatic fashion Sunday as Meghan Gavis scored 3:36 into overtime to defeat Pine Bush 2-1 in the title match at SUNY New Paltz.
Gavis scored both goals for the Tigers, who rallied from a 1-0 deficit. She tied the contest with 16 minutes in regulation.
“It’s so amazing to come from that kind of program where there is such a high standard that you have to uphold it,” said Gavis, a junior and one of 14 underclassmen on the team. “I’m really confident in my teammates, and I know that we’ll always pull together and just it keep going.”
The Tigers were fresh off Thursday’s 1-0 double-overtime win over Rondout Valley for their first Mid-Hudson Athletic League crown in three years.
“To win MHAL and to be section champs again, it’s the best,” Kingston coach Debbie Eaton said. “They all have really good stick skills, and I think that it’s really helped our postseason.”
The undefeated (14-0-1) Tigers get a bye and will play in a regional final Nov. 5 at Valhalla against the Section 1 champion. Kingston will get in one last tuneup before that, playing a nonleaguer at Niskayuna on Tuesday.
Kingston had four shots on goal in the first 10 minutes as it tested Pine Bush’s defense and goalkeeper Erin VanDemark. One shot ticked upwards off a stick and VanDemark had to lean back to make a clutch save.
The (8-3-2) Lady Bushmen went on the offensive after that.
Isabella Pugliese’s shot from 10 yards out was stopped by a defender’s stick. Pine Bush was then awarded three consecutive penalty corners, but couldn’t manage a shot, thanks to the defense of Kingston’s Juliana Sickler and Jalynn Davis. Pine Bush finally got the lead when Lyndsey Deretchin tapped in Pugliese’s
through pass 11:46 before halftime.
The Tigers had a chance to tie, but VanDemark dropped to her knees and made a pad save on Alexandra Lettre’s penalty stroke with 2:32 left in the half.
“They played excellent,” Eaton said about Pine Bush. “They really wanted the game badly. As I told my players at halftime, ‘Are we going to give it up or do you want it just as bad as Pine Bush?’
“The biggest reason that I was concerned was because we beat them 2-0 during the regular season, and maybe we came in kind of thinking it was going to be easier than Thursday’s game. The first half was an eye-opener for them, and then they buckled down and made it happen.”
Added Gavis, “I think we took them too lightly at first, and we didn’t come out as hard. We pulled together and started being more aggressive, and I think it paid off.”
Kingston started the second half fighting off a fiveminute Pine Bush power play. With 16:08 remaining, Brooke Gastin fed the ball to Gavis, who got behind VanDemark to sweep in the tying goal.
The Tigers pressed for the game-winner, but the Pine Bush rose to the challenge as defenders blocked shots by Olivia Prizzi and Gastin. With 34 seconds left in regulation, Helen Deretchin stretched her stick out and deflected another Prizzi attempt.
The Tigers dominated in OT and nearly won it just 36 seconds into the extra session as Grace Gavis slipped the ball to twin sister Meghan, who just missed tapping the ball home.
Kingston couldn’t capitalize on three consecutive corners.
On a restart, Lettre brought the ball up the right side, sent a crossing pass over to Abby Mayone, who guided it down to Grace Gavis in the circle. And, exactly three minutes after that first effort, Grace slapped the ball to Meghan by the left post, who redirected it for the winner.
“I knew that we were going to score. We were down there the whole time and we were playing really well. We were just one step away,” Meghan said. “My sister had an amazing pass and I just tipped it in. We practice shots like that all the time, just passing it to the corner and hitting it in. I was well prepared for that one.”
VanDemark finished with nine saves, while Kingston keeper Abby Brocco had none.
Kingston High’s Meagan Gavis, showing playing against Germantown’s Lauren Saltis last month, tallied both goals in the Tigers’ 2-1 win over Pine Bush.