State field hockey semis next for Akron

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 9 November 2023 at 9:02 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Akron’s team captains, from left, Marissa Brege, Morgan Tomporowski, Julia Klodzinski and Olivia McClaine will lead the Tigers into Saturday’s Class C state semifinal.

Advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 2017, Akron will face Carle Place (Section VIII) in the state Class C field hockey semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday at Centereach on Long Island.

Akron, which has featured a stingy defense and a balanced offense, advanced by downing East Rochester 3-0 in the Far West Regional while Carle Place downed Pierson (Section I) by that same score in the Long Island Regional.

“Could there be anything better than coaching in a community known for its famed field hockey coach, Janice Williams? To be honest, given the opportunity to shadow her determination and relentless pursuit of excellence is quite possibly the highest honor of my coaching career,” said Akron Coach Marlene Stone. “If this team succeeds, it is because we collectively strive to pay homage to the historical excellence Mrs. Williams demanded. We also have one of the most aggressive defensive squads that I have ever coached!”

It will be the fifth time in program history that Akron has reached the Final Four. Akron’s lone state title came in 1992 when that Jan Williams coached Lady Tigers team posted a 3-2 championship game win over Oxford.

Ironically, the team Akron defeated in the semifinals that year was Carle Place by a 2-0 margin.

Defensively Akron has shutout all four of its postseason foes to date and overall has shutout 15 of 18 opponents this season in compiling a 17-1 record.

Offensively, the Lady Tigers balanced scoring has had Nevada Bergman with 15 goals, Olivia McClaine 11, Julia Klodzinski 9, Madigan Regan 8 and Brooke Milhollen 7, Kayla Cebuski 5, Mackenzie Tomporowski 4, Ava Fox and Iva Meyers 2 and Morgan Tomporowski, Ava Lombard and Madison Gates 1 each. McClaine also has a team high 12 assists.

Goalie Marissa Brege anchors the defensive unit which has given up only 5 goals all season.

The Lady Tigers four captains all point to teamwork as the key to their success.

“The key to our success has been the growth of our team and our ability to work together as one,” said Klodzinski. “We’ve have overcome many obstacles by working together, communicating and staying focused on our goals. We are well on our way to reaching our ultimate goal of going to states and we couldn’t be happier!”

“Working together on and off the field pulled us together as a whole,” added McClaine.

“Staying strong through the ups and down has significantly improved the way we play and perform,” said Morgan Tomporowski.

“Going to states was always the ultimate goal and being able to do it with this group of girls is super special,” said Brege. “We all have our individual specialties and we use that to succeed and support one another.”

The victor will then face the winner of the Whitney Point (Section IV) vs. Hoosick Falls (Section II) semifinal in the championship game at 10 a.m. Sunday at Centereach.