Eastport-South Manor field hockey loses a close one

Long Island Championship game

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The Eastport-South Manor field hockey team capped off an amazing season on Nov. 5, with the first-Class B Long Island Championship game appearance in school history.

The Sharks came into the game with a 15-3 record and having knocked off top-seed Bayport-Blue Point to win the Suffolk County championship.

But on this day at Northport High School, the Sharks would have to face Garden City, winners of the previous two LI championships.

The game was scoreless when, with just 3:12 left in regulation, Garden City scored the only goal of the game.

The final score was Garden City 1, Eastport-South Manor 0.

“I’m very proud of them, to win our first county championship,” Eastport-South Manor head coach Ann Naughton said. “This is a special group of girls. They set their goals and achieved them. I’m extremely proud of them.”

Goalkeeper Madison Heaney tallied four saves. Heaney and Sharks’ defenders Victoria Gambino, Taylor Mutha, and Danni Sparacio held off Garden City’s attack, stopping Garden City from capitalizing on 10 corners.

“We work a lot on defense, so they took what they do in practice and put it out on the field,” Naughton said.

“The defense did a great job,” she said.

The offense was led by midfielders Alexa Flood, Emma McLean and Amanda Sweeney, the team’s leading scorer. They kept the pressure on Garden City’s goalkeeper throughout. Flood was named to the all-tournament team.

The Sharks are losing several key players to graduation, including Flood, Sweeney, and McLean on offense and Sparacio on defense.

“The senior class that’s leaving now is a real special group, so we’re going to miss them,” Naughton said.