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Another Great Effort Falls Short for Girls Hockey

Another Great Effort, But the Varsity Girls Are Still Seeking That Elusive Win
Posted on 03/25/2019
Another Great Effort, But the Varsity Girls Are Still Seeking That Elusive Win

The Flatbush Girls Varsity Hockey Team continued to show improvement, but the end result on Monday night (3/25) was another tough loss, this time at the hands of the Ma’ayanot Rapids, as the visitors topped the Falcons by a score of 7-1 at the Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.

 Defensive Zone play

Injuries proved to be a major factor for the Flatbush Varsity Girls in their third game. With Captain Danielle Malka on the shelf for the season, she was joined by Defensive Star Stela Lessler who had developed soreness in her knee (she will be re-evaluated Friday to see if she will be able to play in Sunday’s game at Frisch). It left the Falcons short-handed and created a fatigue factor that clearly impacted the outcome of the contest.

 Face Off

The Falcons came in to the contest looking to build on a quality performance at Heschel last week, with an eye on collecting their first win. But, midway through the opening period, Flatbush had mustered only one scoring chance - on a rush by Kayla Motovich. Meanwhile, the defense struggled to clear the Flatbush zone, and the Rapids took full advantage on their way to building a 4-0 lead with just over four minutes played in the game. Head Coach Elliot Weiselberg called for a timeout to regroup. It helped, as the defense tightened up. And, with 2:44 left in the period, Motovich drove home a rebound off a Gabby Eisner shot to get the Falcons on the board. But, Ma’ayanot cought the Flatbush defense out of position and took the goal right back seconds later. Chen Menashe and Frieda Dabbah stepped up the defense, denying the Rapids any more first period goals, and at the first intermission Ma’ayanot held a 5-1 lead.

 Kayla Motovich Chen Menashe and Frieda Dabbah

The second period’s opening two minutes saw Flatbush Goalie Zoe Sabbagh make two nice saves. Defensemen Norma Hizami and Paula Berkovitz stepped up their play and helped the offense build some pressure on the Rapids end of the court. But, it was Ma’ayanot they got the next goal with just over four minutes gone in the period. Sabbagh was solid in goal, though, making save after save - including one where she was left alone to fend off a breakaway attacker. With 20 seconds to play, Motovich, along with Katriella Weingarten, got serious pressure on the Rapids goal, but could not get the puck home. The Falcons’ play improved, but the deficit grew by a goal. Ma’ayanot’s lead was now 6-1 at the second intermission.

 Zoe Sabbagh makes the save

Coach Weiselberg moved Menashe to offense at the start of the third period, and with vocal support from her teammates, Menashe got pressure on the Rapids goal, but could not get the puck home. Motovich had a great chance when she let fly a blast from the point, but it sailed a bit high and wide. The defense played solid hockey for over half the period, and Sabbagh was sharp - and luck was also on her side for a moment (a Rapid shot with just over half the period gone hit off one post, rolled along her goal line and hit the other post, then bounced out!). But, with just over five minutes to play, Ma’ayanot sneaked the ball just past Sabbagh for their 7th goal. With time winding down, Flatbush got a nice rush from the pairing of Aimee Cohen and Sandy Bernstein that almost ended in a Flatbush goal. Sabbagh and the defense denied the Rapids the rest of the way. But, it was just not the Falcons night as the visitors took the win back with them to New Jersey, 7-1.

 Sandy Bernstein & Amiee Cohen

“The girls really played hard tonight, and they gave a great effort. I really like how we brought it in the second and third periods. Had we played like that from the start, the result might have been very different,” shared an optimistic Coach Weiselberg after the game. “It is very hard when you are missing two of your front line players, but the team stepped up, and I could not ask for more from the effort they put forth. If we continue to improve like we are, I am confident we will get that win we are all looking for!”

NEST NOTES: The Flatbush Varsity Girls Hockey team with practice tomorrow, then will get right back at it Wednesday night, March 27, as they hope to earn that elusive first win when they travel to Long Island for a battle with SKA. Game time is set for the match up with HALB’s High School for Girls at 7:30 pm.

(photos courtesy of Stella Lessler)

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