LINCOLNDALE, N.Y. – Lakeland field hockey coach Sharon Sarsen recalled what she considered the first milestone in her career.
“When I got to 100 wins I thought that was huge and a milestone,” said Sarsen with a laugh.
It was only the beginning for Sarsen, who achieved an outstanding moment Tuesday as her team presented her with her 500th field hockey win in a 6-0 victory over host Somers.
Sarsen, in her 31st year, is the second field hockey coach in New York State history to reach this hallowed mark. She joins the retired Nancy Cole (Ward Melville), who finished with 578 wins.
“It is a big number and I am happy we got it,” said the understated Sarsen. “Now we can start looking forward to sectionals.”
When the game concluded, the Lakeland girls presented Sarsen with flowers and a banner congratulating her on her 500th win.
“We knew about it last year and we knew the seniors last year were upset they were not going to be here for it,” said Lakeland senior Abby Murdock, who scored twice. “The seniors made the banner for her.
“She is an amazing and unbelievable coach. We are all lucky enough to have a coach like her. It is almost unheard of to have 500 wins. We are all very proud of her and happy to be a part of it.”
The momentous win came against two of Sarsen’s former players – Somers’ coach Colleen Carney and assistant coach Jaime Irving. Carney led Section 1 field hockey in scoring her senior year and was a four-year varsity player. Carney also played lacrosse for Sarsen, as did Irving.
Carney played for Lakeland when Sarsen registered her 300th win and her older sister, Kerry, was a member of the team that gave Sarsen her 200th win. Following the game, Carney and Irving also presented Sarsen with flowers.
“My girls played incredible and they fought hard and we made them work for it which is what Sars would have expected,” Carney said, speaking of Sarsen. “It’s history and it shows so much about her dedication to the game.”
Sarsen walked off the field and was greeted with applause by her players and Lakeland fans. She thanked the fans and received numerous hugs from parents.
“I am proud of the program and proud of the people who have come through it,” Sarsen said.