The Flatbush Varsity Girls Hockey Team traveled to New Jeresey Tuesday night (3/20) and put a scare into a powerful Kushner team before falling to the Cobras by a score of 11-1 on the road in Livingston, NJ.
With a roster that was missing two starters (many of the school’s Seniors are away for the week in Poland on the Heritage Trip), the reserves stepped up and showed the League that these Falcons are not going to be an easy out on anyone’s schedule this season.
Flatbush took an early penalty in the first minute of play, and the Kushner Cobras turned the power play into the first goal of the game. But from that moment on, the Falcons defense was impenetrable, denying the Cobra attack for the remainder of the first period. Talia Ovadia was stellar in the pipes, and the defensive rotation of Stella Lessler, Grace Madeb, Perla Bercovitz, Frieda Dabbah and Rachel Nahon did a great job of clearing the zone in front of Ovadia.
Though played mostly in the Flatbush zone, the Falcons did get a few scoring chances, with pressure from Forwards Danielle Malka and Kayla Motovich nearly getting the Falcons even. At the end of the first period of play, Kushner held a slim 1-0 lead, and the favored Cobras were concerned.
Flatbush kept up the intensity at both ends at the start of the second period, and along with Malka and Motovich, the Falcons got offensive pressure from Chen Menashe, Shirley Sabbagh and Kat Weingarten. Ovadia continued to put on a fantastic performance in goal for Flatbush. But, four minutes into the period the next score went to the Cobras making it a 2-0 lead. It was a turning point in the game, as the hosts felt a big weight lift with the additional cushion, while at the same time the energy expended by the Falcons on the defensive end was beginning to wear them down. Kushner would score four more times before the end of the period, for a 6-0 lead heading into the second intermission.
Kushner continued to extend the lead in the final period of play, but there were still positives for Flatbush along the way. Chen Menashe finally solved the Cobra defense, getting the Falcons on the board with an unassisted goal. The period also saw the debut of reserve goalie Zoe Sabbagh. Sabbagh saw her first action of the season, and impressed her coaches and teammates with her efforts in the net.
When the final buzzer sounded, Kushner took home the 11-1 win. But, they also left with a great respect for the young Falcon squad that pushed them hard for the first half of the game.
Head Coach Chelsea Donovan was equally impressed with her girls. “We are improving every day, and we hit the floor running tonight. Kushner is clearly an experienced team, and we went toe-to-toe with them right from the start. I could not be prouder!”
NEST NOTES: Flatbush will have a long stretch before they return to competition. The Falcons will look to get that first win after the conclusion of the Pesach Break when the travel to Teaneck, NJ to take on the Ma’ayanot Rapids on Thursday, April 12. Game time is set for 7:30 pm.