By SAL CACCIATORE Newsday (reprinted)
Plagued by turnovers and sloppy play, Patchogue-Medford went into halftime against Middle Country down by four goals, seemingly headed for a second disappointing loss in as many days.
What a difference a half makes.
Mackenzie Reh scored her fourth goal of the game with 1:16 left to cap off a strong second period and lead Patchogue-Medford to an 11-10 win Wednesday.
Trailing 8-4 at halftime, the Raiders outscored the Wolverines 7-2 during the second half.
Patchogue-Medford coach Emily Armstrong attributed the turnaround to "better execution, taking care of the ball and keeping our heads," rather than any broad change in strategy.
Patchogue-Medford had lost 6-5 Tuesday night in overtime at Floyd, and Armstrong said the deflating loss may have contributed to her team's sluggish start.
Armstrong praised Reh, a junior attack who also had three assists Wednesday, saying "she was a leader on the field today."
Madison Ostrick was another key player for Patchogue-Medford (3-2, 2-2 Division I), scoring three goals, including a goal at the 1:36 mark that tied it at 10.
Ostrick's three second-half draw controls also helped the Raiders gain an 8-2 advantage during the period.
"Draw controls are what kept us in the second half," Armstrong said.
Maranda Kilanowski, Kristi Carroll, and Talia Stagnitta were other contributors for Patchogue-Medford.
Kilanowski led the offense with strong passing, and Stagnitta won four ground balls and caused two turnovers. Armstrong called Stagnitta the "fire that lit the second half."
Carroll, meanwhile, scored three goals and was also given the unenviable task of face guarding Middle Country's star midfielder Nikki Ortega. Though Ortega scored five goals, Armstrong said Carroll played a critical role in slowing the dynamic midfielder during the second half.
Raiders goalie Paula Cortezano made 12 saves.
In addition to Ortega's strong performance, Middle Country (2-3, 1-2) was led by Rachel Masullo, who had a goal and three assists.