The boys soccer team earned its shot what would be the program's first Section 1 championship since 1995 by beating Keio, 1-0, Wednesday. The Pirates were able to execute a physical defensive approach focused on shutting down the Unicorns in the midfield. Pearl River Head Coach Damon O'Keefe said the team's senior leaders played a key role in making it work.
"It's highly difficult, but this is what happens when you have great senior leadership," O'Keefe said. "These guys have done that all year. That whole back line and (goalie) Pat Guerin back there, four of them are seniors. We've been through some great times together and some rough ones. You go through that and you play a schedule like we do, you are ready for these games and we were ready for it. We knew exactly what had to happen today."
They Pirates also know what they must do to win the Class A championship game 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington High School. Pearl River must beat Pelham, the team that ended its 2012 season.
Section 1 Cross Country Championships
Pearl River will contend for team and individual titles at the Section 1 Cross County Championships Friday at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger Falls. The Pearl River girls will run in the Class B finals at 1 p.m., with the boys in the Class B race at 2 p.m.
The Pearl River boys won the Varsity 3 race and senior Brian Cook ran the fastest time ever by an athlete from Rockland County at Bowdoin Park at the Section 1 Coaches' Invitational Oct. 19. The Pirates' top competition should come from Tappan Zee, which won the Varsity 1 race and finished only a point behind the Pirates in the combined standings at Coaches' Invite.
The Pearl River girls have a strong chance to return to the top of the section. Senior Kelly Hayes is currently the No. 2 ranked runner in the state in Class B by tulllyrunners.com.
Field Hockey Faces State Champion Lakeland
The Pearl River Field Hockey players and coaches keep talking about history. The Pirates already won the first league championship in the program's history and reached a new level by defeated John Jay-Cross River in a shootout Tuesday to advance to the Section 1 Class B semifinals.
History dictates that the road will get even tougher for Pearl River (12-2-4) Friday when the Pirates play at defending state champion Lakeland (17-0) at 3:30 p.m. Most of the current Pirates were freshmen and sophomores when the teams last played, a 9-0 Lakeland victory over Pearl River in the 2011 playoffs.
Friday Night Football
- The Pearl River football team will also make the trip to Lakeland Friday for a 7 p.m. non-playoff game.
Former Pearl River High School runners Mathew Lenihan, James Kessler and Corey Calajoe will run the New York City Marathon to raise money fro the fight against Multiple Myeloma, the incurable blood/bone cancer th at claimed the life of John Lenihan, Matt's father.
Thy are running as a team, "Finish for John," which has raised over $20,000. To make a donation or find more information, read this postto the Patch Town Square message board by John Lenihan's daughter Janice.