Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yorktown To Cap Season Against Familiar and Formidable Foe

By Zach Smart
Finishing, creating open looks, and depositing shots with efficiency. Yorktown crumbled in those three categories in its last meeting with cross-town rival Lakeland/Panas.

An engine of resilience, sheer grit and poise in crunch time made up for it.

The Lady Huskers gutted out a 10-9 win over the Rebels on sophomore Jenna Gammer’s game-winning pop back on April 26. Now, Yorktown will renew this rivalry with heavy emphasis on a constant pipe-and-move game.
The Huskers have thrived in pressure-spiked games this season, winning six out of seven games decided by three goals or less.  The Huskers' 13-game win streak came to a screeching halt against a Suffern team eager to bridge the gap between Westchester and Rockland.
The recent loss was, surprise surprise—decided by one goal.
In a 13-12 slugfest, Suffern had the final say as Caitlin Leary buried the game-winner with nine seconds remaining.

Leary, the high-scoring sophomore who torched North Rockland for six goals in an 18-11 win last week, bagged a hat trick to lead the Mounties.

The Huskers dodged and sniped back from an 11-6 hole, buoyed mainly by the hot hand of freshman middie/attack Casey Duff.
On May 13, Yorktown will depend on a well-balanced offense that creates shooting space. The Huskers demand a thorough riding game , especially against a Rebels team known for its scoring depth.  
“I think the reason we’ve been successful is we’ve been working hard to play like a team,” Huskers head coach Ellen Mager explained.
"I don’t even know what the stats are, but we’re pretty balanced and we have a lot of kids that contribute, which makes us tougher to defend. We’re working hard with the defensive concept of having necessary help when we need it.”
Entering the season, filling the cleats of two-time All-Section goalkeeper Katie Frederick seemed to be a major task cooking on Yorktown’s front burner.

Frederick, who collected 239 saves while sporting an  8.86 goals against average in 2012, is now at Ohio State.
The void has been filled by Bianca Dente, who has been the mainstay between-the-pipes.

Spearheading the Huskers defense has been Amanda Maker. In addition to closing up passing lanes and applying draping defense on high scorers, Makar has helped forge the defense into a unit.
“Our goalie has been seeing the ball well, part of that is the defense in front of her is doing a commendable job,” Mager explained.
“Our focus is always working to stop the opponent as well as how to improve on how we clear the ball from defense to offense.”
Lakeland/Panas(11-4), a perennially potent program which has dealt with its fair share of growing pains this season, has ripped off five of its last six.

The table appears set on another tight, eyeball-to-eyeball affair. Yorktown won’t adjust its style of play against its familiar foe Monday.

“We’re basically going to do what we’ve been doing, we’re going to try to make it hard to get their offense to get easy looks,” Mager said.
“One of the things we hope to improve upon from last time is our shooting. They have a very good goalie and we did not score a high percentage of shots. That, our draw control, and picking our spots on offense are areas we will pay attention to.”