On Sunday, May 19, the Yavneh Redhawks played Kushner in the YMSSA girls hockey championship game at Yeshivat Noam. Kushner, after pulling off the upset win against WDS in the playoffs, had momentum going into the championship game. Yavneh and Kushner had faced each other one other game earlier in the season. In that game, Kushner went up 2-0 early on and Yavneh came back to win 3-2. Anything could happen in the championships!
This time, it was Yavneh who came out to an early lead with a shot from half court that found its way into the net by Betty Nagel. After that, shots were coming back and forth from both sides. Yavneh’s top defense, Meital Jaeger, Abby Pavel, Sophia Esses and Adi Benharush were blocking shots and stepping up to take away space. For the ones that got through, goalie Rosalie Levin, was there for the save.
Early in the second period, a clear from Pavel to Nagel led to a shot from half court that also found its way to the back of the net. Yavneh, with a two goal lead, knew that against the experienced coaching of Alex Fuchs and a team that was playing a hard fought game, no lead is safe. In the offensive zone, Yavneh’s defense was taking shots from the point that were just missing the net. Yavneh’s offense battled for body position on the ball to make passes to their teammates or beat their defenders. Zoe Gottesman was driving defenders crazy behind the net. Kayla Greenberg was shooting hard shots from everywhere she had room. Hannah Greenberg, both on offense and defense, stepped up to shut down their players. Finally, Emma Hornblass got the ball off the boards and beat the defender. She got in on a two on one to score a beautiful, top shelf goal to make it 3-0.
Going into the third period, Yavneh still could not get too comfortable. A three goal lead is known to be the worst lead in hockey because teams think they can start to relax. Down 3-0 Kushner started to turn up their game play. They were hustling for every ball, determined to make a comeback. After keeping sustained pressure on Yavneh in their offensive zone, Kushner was able to get one through after taking the ball from behind the net to the front and shooting just over Levin’s outstretched leg pad.
That would be the last goal Levin would give up in her Yavneh career. She had waited patiently for her turn to shine for the last two years. Her hard work paid off and in her first championship game as starting goalie she became an undefeated champion!
Congratulations to the 2019 Yavneh Redhawks for becoming the 2019 YMSSA girls hockey champions! Everyone on the team worked hard to develop their game and support each other to accomplish this great achievement. It was definitely be a season to remember!
Good luck to all the graduating eighth graders as they bring their talents to high school: Alex Falik, Abby Pavel, Kayla Greenberg, Hannah Greenberg, Meital Jaeger, Zoe Gottesman and Rosalie Levin!
Yavneh wishes to extended and extra hakarat hatov to Coach Aliza Hiller for not only leading leading the Redhawks to the third championship in a row, but always modeling sportsmanship and good middot for the team. Mazal tov Redhawks!