Tigers cap­ture their 10th ti­tle in row

Tigers rally from deficit to post 2-1 tri­umph in cham­pi­onship game

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Stribl mstribl@free­manon­line.com @MStribl on Twit­ter

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.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO -- DAILY FREEMAN

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.

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