It isn’t often when two All-State players compete in the same high school field hockey game. It’s even rarer still when they are teammates, and opponents at the same time.
All-State selections Ana Sherwood and Melissa Manzello are friends. When playing for their club team, East End Field Hockey, they are teammates. On Thursday, though, Sherwood wore Pierson/Bridgehampton’s red uniform while Manzello was in Shoreham-Wading River white.
The bragging rights for the day went to Sherwood and her Pierson team, which prevailed in a Suffolk County Division III game that was as close as anticipated. The only difference in the 1-0 result was Sherwood’s first-half goal.
Sherwood, a senior forward/midfielder, was the unquestioned player of the game, proving herself to be a handful for the Wildcats to contain.
“Great hustler,” Pierson coach Bethany Semlear said. “A lot of heart.”
And a lot of skill.
Sherwood showed some of that skill when she air dribbled half the length of the field during one memorable sequence, a move that teammate Hollie Schleicher later repeated.
But it was Sherwood’s third goal of the young season that eventually settled matters in favor of the Whalers (3-1, 3-1), who were Class C state semifinalists last year. On her second charge down the left wing, she dodged defenders and flipped a shot past goalkeeper Gabby Cacciola 5 minutes, 31 seconds into the game. It was her only shot of the contest.
Shoreham (2-2, 2-2), playing its second home game on the field turf at the new Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field, was blanked by Pierson goalie Charlotte Johnson. Two of Johnson’s seven saves came on back-to-back stops on attempts by Michele Corona in the first half.
With less than eight minutes left in the game, Cacciola (seven saves) denied Schleicher and Calista Cafiero on successive shots.
Manzello, a senior midfielder, took two shots, both of which were saved.
Photo caption: The Pierson/Bridgehampton and Shoreham-Wading River players shake hands before their Division III game on Thursday. (Credit: Bob Liepa)