Cougars Dominant In Division Opener

COMMACK, New York, April 2

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

Rain drops fell from the sky, temperatures dipped into the mid-30s and a bone-chilling wind blew across the turf field at Commack High School Tuesday afternoon, but, as the Lady Cougars prepped for their first game of the Division I season, they had just one thought on their minds.

“We knew that this was a must-win game,” Amy Hauser, junior attacker, said.

The Lady Cougars did just that – and in dominating fashion – with a 15-4 victory over cross-town rival, Walt Whitman (0-1).

Junior defender, Julia Bradley, left, brings the ball up the field for Commack on Tuesday during a Division I matchup between the Lady Cougars and Wildcats of Walt Whitman.
Junior defender, Julia Bradley, left, brings the ball up the field for Commack on Tuesday during a Division I matchup between the Lady Cougars and Wildcats of Walt Whitman.

Hauser, one of Commack’s four captains, kicked off the scoring just minutes after the opening whistle to give the Lady Cougars an early lead. Although Whitman’s Kelly Baumann quickly tied the score at 1-1, the Lady Cougars then sparked seven-consecutive goals to carry an 8-1 lead into halftime.

“We have the most-selfless team ever… not one of these girls has an ego,” Melissa Read, head coach, said after the game. “It’s a very well-rounded, well-balanced team, which is working for us so far; you can’t teach that kind of stuff.”

That sentiment carried over well into the second half for Commack as nine different Lady Cougars put the ball into the back of the net over the course of the 50-minute contest.

When the final whistle blew, Hauser, a varsity player since she was an eighth grader, led Commack in scoring with 4 goals – while also adding 2 assists.

“We just did what we needed to do,” Hauser said while shrugging off the harsh-weather conditions that both teams endured. “Passing cutting, constant moving – everybody played their part, everybody knew where to be on the field at all times. Our team is very close and that definitely shows on the field.”

Another junior, Julia Manetta matched Hauser’s point total with 2 goals and 4 assists to lead the Lady Cougars. Diana Johnston – continuing that trend of junior Lady Cougars – scored 3 goals for Commack, which was seeded no. 10 heading into the 2014-2015 Division I season.

“We’re a very junior-driven team,” Read said of Commack’s nine juniors – most of which make up the team’s starting lineup. “They’re here to win. We’re hoping to push up in that top-10 and make the playoffs for the first time in a few years.”

The Lady Cougars (1-0) were scheduled to continue that campaign for the playoffs after press time on Wednesday with a trip to Riverhead (1-1) to take on the Blue Waves.

Next up for Commack is another Division I matchup with the Eagles of Copiague (0-2), which is scheduled for 10 a.m. on April 7 at Copiague High School.

Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record
(Thursday, April 2, 2015;  A27)

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