The members of the Pearl River girls soccer team left their 1-0 loss at Somers in the section semifinals one year ago thinking they could have gone much farther.
That is just part of why the Pirates (16-1-2) will bring some unfinished business to the field when they play Somers again in the Section 1 Class A championship game 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Somers.
"The kids are fired up now because we lost a heartbreaker to them last year," Pearl River Head Coach Tim Peabody said.
Pearl River earned its trip to the finals with a 2-0 victory at home against Rye Tuesday. Casey Walsh continued her high-scoring ways by firing a shot past a diving Rye goalie Maddie Eck for the Pirates' first goal. She now has three goals and three assists in two post-season games.
Senior Marissa Scognamiglio, who played forward instead of her normal spot in the midfield, set up the second goal with a cross that Senior Caitlin Noonan buried to all but put the game away with just over 12 minutes remaining. Peabody said he moved Scognamiglio up because she is battling a cold and wasn't able to run quite as much as she normally can.
Peabody said the Pirates just needed to get more shots on goal after trying to do too much with their chances early on.
"It's a funny sport. You can play well and not score," Peabody said. "They don't give you bonus points for dominating. I knew we had to get shots off. (Eck) is a very, very good goalie. We got stuck in the pattern of trying to make the perfect shot instead of just turning and shooting."
The Pirates' defense continued to stifle the opposition. The Pirates have recorded shutouts in all three playoff games, but freshman goalkeeper Lauren Gallagher has plenty of help from seniors Megan Gallagher, Kelly Guerci and Julie Kuhn, freshman Lauren Zimnoch and eighth grader Grace Moynihan. Moynihan, who was injured early in the season and has come on of late, made her first varsity start Tuesday.
"She did a great job," Peabody said. "She got a little tired. Julie Kuhn came in for her. Then they played together as we played five backs for a while. Kelly Guerci has been phenomenal the second half of the season. (The defense) showed a lot of composure and nobody panicking. That makes all the difference in the world."
"Our defenders have been great in the post-season so far," Scognamiglio said. "We've only been improving. We've had off moments or games, but all in all, we've been progressing."
In another Section 1 girls soccer championship game, No. 9 seed Albertus Magnus will play No. 2 Bronxville for the Class B championship 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Carmel.
Cross Country Section Streak Ends at 33 Years
The Pearl River girls cross country team's run of section championships ended at 33 years when Nanuet won the Section 1 Class B team title Tuesday at Somers. The Pirates finished second.
Full results from the Section 1 championships can be found here.
Nanuet senior Megan Young finished first overall with a time of 18:44.80, with teammates MaryKate O'Meary fourth and Brooke Madry seventh. Junior Kelly Hayes led the way for Pearl River, taking second overall in 19:02.08.
Tappan Zee finished third as a team with Erin Jaskot third overall. Nanuet had 42 points to Pearl River's 52 and Tappan Zee's 53.
The same three Rockland County teams dominated the boys Class B competition, with Tappan Zee edging out defending champion Pearl River for the team championship with 43 points to the Pirates' 48. Nanuet was third, but well back with 124.
Pearl River had two of the top three finishers, with junior Brian Cook first overall in 16:23.97 and teammate Brian Edsall third in 16:46.64. Tappan Zee placed three runners in the top five with Luke Gavigan second, Liam Burke fourth and Joe Dinan fifth.
The Pirates and Dutchmen have battled back and forth all season, with Pearl River winning the regular season and League 4B meets and Tappan Zee taking the Rockland County and Section 1 titles.
Section 1 Swimming
Pearl River will compete in the Section 1 girls swimming championships which begin with the preliminaries starting 5:15 p.m. today at Felix Festa Middle School. The finals are set to begin 5:15 p.m. Friday at Festa.
Share Sports Results, Pictures on Patch
Coaches, parents and other followers of Pearl River athletics, please send scores and information to firstname.lastname@example.org or upload your pictures directly to stories about games as they are posted on Pearl River Patch.