Bears Look Savage in League Opener

Savage in action earlier this season (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Yesterday afternoon, March went out like a lion with a relentless wind that gusted up to 25 mph, but it was the Bears who proved to be the scariest thing on Fitch Field in a 22-4 victory over Long Island Lutheran in their PSAA opener.

In their last match-up of 2021, the Bears left Brookville with an 8-6 win after a thrilling comeback over LuHi, but there was little drama in the rematch as the Blue & White scored the first five goals of the game and never looked back.

The Bears got the scoring underway when they capitalized on a LuHi transition turnover when Morgan Ruggieri found Alexis Savage for the opening score with 22:51 left in the first half. Savage then scored the next two goals just 18 seconds apart when she found the net at the 21:28 mark before firing a shot off the pipe and in for a 3-0 lead. Natalia Pagano notched an unassisted score with 16:59 remaining and Savage scored off of a draw control just 12 seconds later. LuHi managed their first score at 16:00, but the Bears scored the next six goals in a frenzied three-minute span to put the game away early.

Ruggieri began the run with a free position goal, Alexandra Puopolo assisted Savage on a score, Pagano scored an unassisted goal, Sydneyanna Giardini put away a loose ball on the crease, Ruggieri added another free position strike, and Pagano capped the run by completing her hat trick and giving the Brook an 11-1 edge. From there, Puopolo scored three times and Savage added another tally as the Brook carried a 15-3 lead into the break.

The Bears throttled down in the second half by slowing their pace on offense and substituting liberally, and still managed to win the frame, 7-1, thanks to three more goals from Savage, two tallies from Puopolo, and a goal apiece from Ruggieri and Yasmin Tinaz.

Savage scored a game-high 9 goals, within shouting distance of Caitlin Banks’ school record of 12, and added 3 assists, 6 draw controls, and 7 ground balls. Puopolo notched 5 goals and an assist, and Ruggieri and Pagano each rung up a hat trick and an assist. Giardini and Tinaz each added a goal. Though she did not score a single point, Mia Trama was an offensive catalyst for the Bears as she registered 11 draw controls and scooped up every ground ball in sight to fuel the offense. Emily Berger added 4 saves in net.

The Bears are back in action on Monday as they travel to Randall’s Island for a league match-up with Avenues.



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