There’s still time for Baldwin to click and be a factor in the Nassau Class A field hockey title picture, but its rough patch continued Oct. 7 when Cold Spring Harbor scored the tying goal with four minutes remaining in regulation and then beat the Lady Bruins, 2-1, 1:59 into overtime on Rachel Louie’s goal off a penalty corner.
“It was a stunning defeat because we played so well,” Baldwin coach Michael Hoover said. “All of our away games are on turf and we’re still trying to figure out how to play at a faster pace. But this was a game we dominated and should have been able to finish.
“The girls are still upbeat and not going down without a fight,” he added. “They’ve played hard every game until the final whistle.”
Megan Englehart scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season for Baldwin, which dropped its sixth straight after opening with victories over Cold Spring Harbor and North Shore.
“The program is at a bit of a crossroads,” Hoover explained. “Our JV had to fold midway through the spring season and we’re without a JV now and carrying 18 on varsity. Half of our team is season veterans and half are learning day by day and getting better. We’ve been competitive and there’s still time to get where we want to be.”
In the big picture, the race for the Nassau Class A championship, Massapequa is an established favorite with Baldwin, Port Washington and East Meadow rounding out the likely top four seeds. Baldwin went toe-to-toe with Massapequa in the first half but allowed four unanswered second-half goals in a 6-2 loss on Oct. 2.
“Our game against Port Washington will determine the second and third seed,” Hoover said of a rare Sunday game at 10 a.m. at home. “We lost 4-3 at Port earlier in the season so it should be a good one.”
Baldwin’s four captains have been the team’s glue, Hoover said. All are three-year starters. Senior Juliana Caraan is the centerpiece at center-midfield and brings a great demeanor and field sense, Hoover noted. “She’s very active at both ends of the field and stickhandles so well,” he said. Caraan scored one of the goals against Massapequa.
Senior Aurora Wojtczak and junior Olivia Specht are midfielders/halfbacks and play the sport year-round. Wojtczak is considered one of the top 50 players on Long Island and is the “heart and soul” of the Lady Bruins according to Hoover. Specht serves like a stopper on a soccer field and moves fast with the ball on her stick.
The other captain, senior Olutoyin Green is a midfield wing with speed and aggressiveness. Sophomore Jasmin Tiong Smith also starts at wing. At forward, it’s a pair of sophs in Englehart and Cam Davis (three goals.) There’s also a young goaltender getting acclimated to the varsity level, sophomore Angelina Feeney. The defense in front of Feeney is anchored by senior Maia Goveia, who also fuels the Lady Bruins’ transition.