Ryan powers Sachem East to NYS 'A' title
CICERO, N.Y. -- It was only a matter of time before someone delivered for Sachem East. Before the Flaming Arrows did what the Flaming Arrows do. Before this team would reclaim its crown.
Sachem East had dominated the first half every which way, except on the scoreboard at Cicero-North Syracuse. But with this group, it was only a matter of time before that would change.
Karyn Ryan scored the first of her two goals with a second left in the first half and the Flaming Arrows went on to beat Liverpool, 3-0, Sunday to earn a second consecutive state Class A field hockey championship.
"It's amazing to think about," Ryan, a senior, said of the legacy her team is creating and the reputation it already has established. "I couldn't be more proud to be part of a . . . great team like this."
And there might not be another team like this in New York -- with a roster so loaded, a head coach in Tina Moon so focused, and a squad that could so easily blow through its competition.
As the championship plaque was hoisted, the Flaming Arrows sang Taylor Swift's "22" in reference to their 22-0 season.
"Last year, we did the unexpected and this time finishing off an undefeated season is even better," said Katie Trombetta, whose goal with 40 seconds left created the final margin. "We didn't look at it as pressure [to be perfect], it was just a goal and that made it fun."
Ryan, Katie Trombetta and her sister Cara were named to the all-tournament team. But, really, Sachem East WAS the all-tournament team. It beat Williamsville North, 6-0, in Saturday's semifinal.
Liverpool didn't have a shot on goal in the first half, but Sachem East failed to capitalize early on. "We just needed to stay composed," midfielder Katie Doherty said. "We had confidence in ourselves that we'd get it right."
On their seventh penalty corner attempt, Cara Trombetta whipped a pass to Ryan, who slapped it in from 2 yards left of the goal. Ryan made it 2-0 on a similar play off a feed from Katie Shanahan with 21:13 left.
And there was no let-up in that vaunted Arrows defense, and Jordan Miller made one save for the shutout. "We put two people in the area of the ball, sticks low, and we're looking to take it away," defender Stephanie Bagley said of the strategy, which led to several forced turnovers.
Last year's bus ride home featured Moon crooning country music on a karaoke machine. This time around, it was Doherty and Diamond Jackson working a boom box and belting out Whitney Houston.
It's only been two years, but it seems so long ago that Sachem East didn't have a Suffolk title in its history, let alone two state championships.
It was only a matter of time.