Lakeland field hockey eyes three-peat
NEW YORK STATE CLASS B FIELD HOCKEY SEMIFINALS
Lakeland (Section 1) vs. Camden (Section 3)
When: Saturday, November 19 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Cicero-North Syracuse High School
Head coach: Sharon Sarsen
Players to watch: Emma Bozek (senior, midfielder); Shannon Scavelli (senior, forward); Krista Servedio (senior, goalie); Allie O’Mara (senior, defense)
CAMDEN BLUE DEVILS
Head coach: Shannon McPheron
Players to watch: Kianne Hinkle (senior, forward); Aubrey Coon (senior, forward); Emily Collins (sophomore, goalie)
Lakeland possesses the most lethal scoring combination in all of New York State in senior center midfielder Emma Bozek and senior forward Shannon Scavelli. The All-American duo has combined to score 81 goals this season. Bozek has accounted for 35 assists, while Scavelli has dished out 23.
Section 3’s Camden will no doubt have its hands full against the two-time defending Class B state champions in the state semifinals. The Hornets have outscored the opposition 143-11 this season.
“We need to come out strong in the first half,” Bozek said of how they’ll beat the Blue Devils. “No matter what team we play, we’re going to have to execute when we get out there.”
Camden’s offensive attack is paced by Kianne Hinkle and Aubrey Coon, who have scored 15 and 10 goals, respectively.
“They’re a good team,” said Scavelli, who will continue her field hockey career at the University of Michigan. “We’ll just have to come out strong and play our game. You can’t really control the other team, but you can control what you do.”
Looking to stop Hinkle, Coon and company will be Lakeland senior goaltender Krista Servedio. Senior Allie O’Mara, junior Gianna Bensaia and junior Rebecca Bard anchor the defense in front of Servedio.
“Last year we lost Amanda DiDomizio, who was our goalie,” Scavelli said. “Krista Servedio has stepped up so much in goal. We’ve really worked every game to get better and I think in the postseason it’s been especially important to work on our defense. They’ve done phenomenal.”
Offensively, Lakeland isn’t just about Bozek and Scavelli. Junior Abby Murdock, who has scored 13 goals this year, came through with three early goals in their 5-0 regional final win over Section 9’s Rondout Valley.
“It just says so much about our program how we’re not always dependent on me or Shannon,” said Bozek, who is headed for the University of North Carolina to play field hockey next year.
Sophomore forward Gabby Celentano has also been a solid asset offensively with 12 goals and 17 assists. Bensaia (eight goals, eight assists), Bard (six goals, nine assists), junior Kristen Conroy (eight goals) and sophomore Stephanie Scala (six goals) have all been contributors.
The experienced Hornets are heavily favored, but don’t want to get caught looking ahead to a potential match-up with Section 8’s Garden City in the championship game. Lakeland defeated Garden City 2-0 in the state championship last season and had a thrilling overtime win over the Trojans in the state semifinals two years ago.
“We’ve been working hard all year for this,” Scavelli said. “But it’s one game at a time. If you lose this game, you can’t even look ahead to the next game. Camden is really our focus. We’re not worrying about Garden City and Maine-Endwell.”
Bozek is hoping to end her stellar career on a high note.
“It’s every seniors wish to end their season with a bang,” she said. “I would love nothing more than to finish my season with a third straight state title.”
The winner will square off with either Section 8’s Garden City or Section 4’s Maine-Endwell in the Class B state championship game on Sunday, November 20 at noon at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Follow Rob DIAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD