EAGLES 5, CLIPPERS 1
It was only several years ago when goals were mighty hard to come by for the Greenport/Southold field hockey team. It was a problem, a real big problem.
Clippers coach Rebecca Lillis remembers one goalless drought when she was the team’s assistant coach and the coach at the time, Todd Gulluscio, posted a sign on one of the goals that read, “Scorer Wanted.”
Well, the Clippers can be thankful those days are gone. Goals are more plentiful these days, and some wins are coming along with them. The Clippers have totaled 27 goals in 10 games this season, with freshmen Madison Tabor and Toni Esposito accounting for 22 of them.
Indeed, the Clippers have more firepower and are more competitive than they were during those bleak days of offensive offense. Even so, they were no match for a strong Rocky Point team on Friday. The Eagles, who reached the Suffolk County Class B championship game last year, struck for two quick goals by senior forward Ashley Faulhaber within the opening 2 minutes 29 seconds and coasted, 5-1, at Greenport High School. The Clippers wore pink shirts in the “Play for the Cure” game, which raised money for breast cancer research.
Faulhaber found the goal again with 2:16 left in the game to cap the scoring and give herself a hat trick. Her second goal came on a penalty stroke.
Rocky Point (6-5, 6-4 Suffolk County Division III) had dropped three of its previous four games and was clearly eager to get back on the winning track. It took the Eagles only 26 seconds to light up the scoreboard. Faulhaber smacked in a rebound off the pads of goaltender Brandi Gonzalez amid a cloud of dust on the dry grass field.
Later in the half, Gonzalez made consecutive stops before Nickalina Sciulla followed up and drilled a shot in for a 3-0 lead.
The Clippers, coming off a 12-0 blowout of Hampton Bays, spoiled Olivia Accardi’s shutout bid when Tabor notched her team-leading 13th goal of the season with 9:50 to go before halftime. Katie Tuthill took a penalty corner, sending the ball to her sister, Sarah Tuthill, who knocked it toward Tabor to finish.
Jenna Sanossian and Faulhaber tacked on second-half goals to keep the game well out of the Clippers’ reach.
The Clippers (4-6, 4-6) were denied a goal in the second half when a blistering shot by Sarah Tuthill was deflected nicely by Accardi.
Rocky Point outshot the home team, 17-5, keeping the Clippers’ goalies busy. Gonzalez, after making 9 saves in the first half, was replaced at halftime by Katie Tuthill, her backup who played in goal for the first time this season and stopped 4 shots.
NOTES The Clippers will hold their third alumni game on Oct. 26 at Greenport High School at 12 p.m. Any interested former Clippers players may contact Rebecca Lillis at [email protected]