Kellie Linehan and Tappan Zee claim Section 1 Class C title
HILLBURN – He’s been losing a game all season.
It was his first match, March 29, against eventual Division 1 Class B winner John Jay-Cross River.
After that, the Tappan Zee women’s lacrosse team was perfect.
That didn’t change Friday night.
Top seed Tappan Zee, managed by senior Kellie Linehan, who scored seven times to surpass 200 goals in college, beat third seed Byram Hills 18-6 at Torne Valley Sports Complex to win the Section 1 Class C Championship.
What this means
Byram Hills finished the season 14-5.
Tappan Zee, now 17-1, will face the winner of Regional Section 2 vs. Section 9 in a State Regional Final on June 4 at 3 p.m. in Hen Hud
Linehan, who scored four of Tappan Zee’s first five goals, was the game’s best player. All seven goals for the American college team have come on just 12 shots.
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By the numbers
Linehan, who also got an assist, however, shared the stage with several teammates.
Junior Kathryn Stacker, a Marist College indentured, was included. She had a hat trick and seven assists. With those assists, Stacker topped 100 in college.
Marley Wright also scored three times, Marisa Fitzpatrick scored twice and Charlotte Caulfield, Brooke Comito and Alish MacDonald each scored once.
Isabelle Conway had two assists and Jahna Natelli one assist.
Tappan Zee had the ball the lion’s share of the era thanks in part to his work on the coin toss.
Wright won nine draw checks and Linehan had six.
Anastasia Byrnes has scored four times for the Byram Hills and Irene Byrnes and JoJo Wolf have both scored once.
Although the score was not close, it would have been much worse without the play of Bobcat goaltender Sam Gershuny.
She made 12 saves. Some were spectacular, including several saves with his legs. At one point, she made three consecutive saves as TZ invaded her net.
Byram Hills coach Jack Kensil called Gershuny’s game a “light out”.
“She kept us in it,” he said.
He pointed to Tappan Zee’s ability to get and keep the ball as the main difference in the game.
“We scored when we had the ball. We just didn’t have enough,” Kensil said.
Noting that the Bobcats were a sub-.500 team a few years ago but finished the last two regular seasons 12-4, he said, “I think the whole program is going in the right direction.”
Linehan, who scored multiple times while running to the right post and taking a feed from Staker, who was parked behind the net, credited his teammates’ picks with giving him the breathing room.
“My team catches everything. It makes my job fun,” added Staker of his assists.
The section title was Tappan Zee’s first and was “many years in the making”, according to Staker, who pointed out that this year’s seniors had played a key role in building the program, “encouraging so many girls playing and putting Tappan Zee on the map.”
“We’ve been working for this for so long,” Linehan agreed. “It’s a great way to move the senior year forward.”
Nancy Haggerty covers cross country, track and field, field hockey, skiing, ice hockey, women’s lacrosse and other sporting events for The Journal News/lohud. Follow her on Twitter at @HaggertyNancy and @LoHudHockey.