BONACKERS 12, TUCKERS 7
Nikki L’Hommedieu is what one might call a goalie by circumstance.
The circumstance this past winter was that L’Hommedieu’s indoor lacrosse team needed a goalie, so the field player said she would give it a try. After watching her play the position, a coach told L’Hommedieu that she had potential.
L’Hommedieu’s reply was: “Yeah, that’s some joke. I’m not playing goalie.’ … Usually I’m the one scoring on the goalie.”
As it turned out, L’Hommedieu wasn’t done with the goalkeeping experiment. When Mattituck/Greenport/Southold found that it had only one goalie for both its varsity and junior varsity teams this season, L’Hommedieu was asked how she felt about playing goal for the JV team. She was willing to give it a shot.
That might seem like a long time ago. On Friday, L’Hommedieu said, “It looks like I’m sticking with the position.”
It sure seems that way. L’Hommedieu, who played as an attackman/middie for the varsity Tuckers last year, has been keeping goal for the JV Tuckers this season. That is until Friday.
With the varsity team’s goalie, senior Alex Zaweski, unable to make Friday’s game against East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson because of a class trip, L’Hommedieu got the call to rejoin her varsity teammates — this time as a goalie.
L’Hommedieu received praise for her play in her varsity debut as a goalie, a 12-7 loss to the Bonackers at East Hampton High School.
“I knew Nikki was going to do awesome,” the Tuckers’ eighth-grade attackman, Audrey Hoeg, said. “I was a little concerned, I guess, when our goalie said she wasn’t going to be here, but as soon as I found out that Nikki was going in goal, I knew she was going to do really well and she wasn’t going to let us down, and she didn’t.”
L’Hommedieu didn’t look out of place. The sophomore, who was credited with seven saves, said she was both a little nervous and excited over the opportunity to play in the game.
“I think I could have done better, and I was a little hard on myself,” she said, “but I got to keep my head up.”
Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach Julie Milliman said L’Hommedieu “did a great job for us. She did more than we could ask for.”
East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson (9-5, 7-5 Suffolk County Division II) is making a bid for its first playoff appearance in the team’s 10-year history. The Bonackers never trailed, and built a 9-2 lead after goals by Jenna Budd and Hailey Tracey 7 minutes 4 seconds into the second half.
Maggie Pizzo finished with three goals while Amanda Seekamp and Gabriella Penati netted two each. Seekamp also assisted on two goals while Pizzo and Penati picked up an assist each.
Allison Charde made four saves and Cheyenne Mata had five for the Bonackers.
Mattituck/Greenport/Southold (1-11, 1-11) received a big game from Audrey Hoeg, who scored three goals from eight shots. She also had two assists and three ground balls. Her cousin, Katie Hoeg, produced two goals, two assists and four ground balls. Meg Glenn gathered six loose balls to go with one goal and one assist.
The Tuckers, who are in their third varsity season, were competitive. They took only three less shots than the Bonackers, won only two less draws, and collected three more loose balls. It was not one-way traffic. The play went back and forth.
“We were in it. We gave them a game, so I can’t complain,” Milliman said. “I think it’s one of the most complete games we’ve had this season.”
It didn’t sound as if East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson coach Matt Maloney would rank it among his team’s most memorable games.
“We didn’t play our best today, and we’re very fortunate to get out of here with a win,” he told reporters afterward.
Speaking of the Tuckers, Maloney said: “They are on the rise. They’re similar to where we were about three or four years ago, a couple of years away from kind of putting it all together, and I give them credit. They played tough today.”
That would include L’Hommedieu, who seems to have made the adjustment from scoring on shots to stopping them.
“I kind of just picked it up, and I’m glad I did. It feels good to be goalie,” she said. “I love my team and I love playing goalie now.”