BY MARC MATURO
Pearl River field hockey ready to face new opposition
Pirates will be tested early and often in league realignment
The Pearl River High School field hockey team will face a new challenge this season, but co-coaches Tracy Miller and Shane Carlacci seem to have enough core talent to meet it successfully.
The Pirates, who had to rebuild the previous two seasons following the graduation of 10 players each year, will face each Rockland County opponent only once this season as Section 1 realigned the league structure. Thus, the Pirates will be facing several teams that previously they would meet only in the postseason.
The season got under way earlier this week with a road game against Suffern, with the Pirates’ home opener scheduled September 13 at 4:15 p.m. against Rye. Pearl River then meets Nanuet and Lakeland, both on the road.
“It’s a pretty challenging start, and the schedule is tougher for us, but we have several returning starters,” noted Coach Miller, a Pearl River resident who played the sport at Hobart College and has been involved with the program for six years after volunteering for several years.
The Pirates hope to have strengthened their defense, beginning with the shift of Kelly Ann Henry from the midfield to fullback, and with veteran junior Kerry Gettler “the voice in the back end,” as the returning goaltender. Theresa Glynn joins Henry at fullback, and Brianne Lee is well-positioned at center back.
Senior Michaela Murphy is another returning starter, and sophomores Megan Delaney and Breanne Dolphin and junior Elizabeth Gilbride form a solid core at midfield.
“We definitely have a stronger defense,” added Coach Miller. “We are changing our field formation, and going for more speed.”
Tappan Zee 21, Nyack 7: Once a lightweight in football circles, the Dutchmen have rebuilt the program under veteran coach Andy DiDomenico and are not adverse to flexing their muscle. Tappan Zee opened its season at home in Orangeburg against the Nyack Indians, who also have a veteran coach but one that is new to the team in Dominick DeMatteo. The Dutchmen — who remain at home on September 9 to meet Lakeland (0-1) at 7 p.m. — shut down the Indians with a dominant defensive line and stole the offensive spotlight behind the work of Nick Violetto. Although the Dutchmen used eight ball-carriers, Violetto carried the load, running for 84 yards with a second-quarter touchdown while doing double duty at linebacker. Matt McGivney picked up 51 yards with two touchdowns.
New Rochelle 34, North Rockland 13: The Red Raiders, in their season opener, came up short against the unbeaten (3-0) host Huguenots. Coach Tom Lynch’s squad looks to rebound at home on September 10 against Clarkstown South, which is coming off a thrilling 14-13 victory over rival Clarkstown North in the Supervisor’s Cup. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. The Red Raiders trailed just 21-13 at halftime, but were worn down by the relentless Huguenots. North Rockland junior QB Dylan Senatore was 8 of 19 for 135 yards and a TD. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Pleasantville 13, Albertus Magnus 7: The Falcons (0-1) return home on September 10 for a 1:30 p.m. game against Yonkers Montessori Academy, which also lost it season opener.
Spring Valley 38, Horace Greeley 0: Coach Andrew Delva’s team, which overwhelmed the visiting Quakers as Tyreke Smith ran for 153 yards and four touchdowns, travels across the river to Bedford on September 9 to challenge Fox Lane at 7 p.m. The Foxes are coming off a 19-12 win over Port Chester.
Ramapo 24, Suffern 20: The Gryphons, after winning on the road behind 163 yards and two touchdowns from Lorenzo Henderson, host Clarkstown North at 7 p.m. on September 9. North, which had taken the lead on junior Eric Maurer’s rushing TD, looks to rebound following a tough 14-13 loss to rival Clarkstown South in the Supervisor’s Cup. Henderson also returned an interception for a TD, and participated in 17 tackles.
Pearl River 34, Walter Panas 31: The Pirates, who opened at home with a thrilling victory, visit Yorktown on September 9 for a 7 p.m. contest.
Nanuet 20, Ardsley 14: The Golden Knights, after winning their season and home opener, take to the road on September 10 to challenge Irvington at 1:30 p.m.
COLLEGIATE CLIPS: North Rockland HS alum Gavin Maher of Stony Point, a defensive lineman, combined on a sack as the Pace University football team bowed to host Millersville (Pa.) University, 28-7, in its season opener. The Setters, who hope to rebound in Pleasantville on September 9 against Assumption College in a 7 p.m. contest, blocked three kicks in defeat. … The Setters’ men’s cross country team, which opens its season in Poughkeepsie at 10 a.m. on September 10 at the Vassar Ron Stonitsch Invitational, features senior Lee Allen of New City, a graduate of Clarkstown North HS, and Tappan Zee alum Dan Citardi, a junior, of Blauvelt. … Spring Valley HS alum Rickey McGill will be returning for his sophomore season as a guard on the Iona College men’s basketball team. As a freshman, McGill averaged 11 minutes and three points a game, with 22 assists and 22 steals on the season. The Gaels open the new campaign on November 15 at Florida State and the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. The Gaels take on the Seminoles for the second time in history and the first time since the 2009 Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. … Tappan Zee HS graduate James Hennessy earned a start on defense as a freshman, helping the SUNY New Paltz men’s soccer team defeat Norwich, 1-0, in the Hawks’s season-opening match in the SUNY Oswego Tournament. The women’s team features sophomore Raven Blake of New City on defense, and Suffern HS alumna Katelyn Cordero as a senior goalkeeper. … Junior Brittany Grandville of Tappan chalked up a 6-0, 6-0 victory as the SUNY New Paltz women’s tennis team opened up its fall schedule with a 9-0 victory against non-conference opponent Rutgers-Newark. Grandville also won in doubles, along with junior Taylor Mormile, an alumna of Albertus Magnus HS. New Paltz begins SUNYAC East Division action Sept. 9-10, playing against SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oneonta. … Pearl River HS graduate Glenn Watson is a freshman member on the golf team at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill. The Spartans open the fall season on September 11 at the Franklin Pierce Invitational, to be held at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H. … Westchester Community College women’s bowler Stephanie Frank, an alumna of North Rockland HS, was named to the all Mid-Hudson Conference academic team for the 2016 winter season.
THIS & THAT: Can anyone dethrone Arthur Gunter? The Upper Nyack resident and Orangetown middle school teacher is set to again defend the title in the 28th annual South Nyack 10-mile Run, set for 8:30 a.m. on September 11. The race begins at the Franklin Street Park in South Nyack and continues to Piermont Pier and back. Another field in excess of 500 runners is expected, under the auspices of the Rockland Road Runners and long-time race director Mike Angarola. The event – which has never been interrupted by rain — marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, and as it was at the 10th anniversary, the Piermont Fire Department will hold a special ceremony that necessitates a detour for the runners. Nothing, however, ever seems to derail perennial champion Gunther, who will be using the 10-miler as a test run for an upcoming marathon. … Touching Bases Baseball, a league for adults with disabilities, opens its 15th season on September 10 from 9:15 a.m. to noon at South Orangetown Little League. The program, notes founder Bob Baird, has grown into 220-plus players and 14 teams.