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Lady Barons defeat a Strong Team from Poolesville 2-0

Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 by Calvin
Field Hockey: Lady Barons defeat a Strong Team from Poolesville 2-0
            On a cool fall September 22nd evening at home, the Lady Barons played a strong Poolesville Falcon team, and took the opportunity to show their true grit, prevailing 2-0.   The first half was played evenly, the play perhaps slightly favoring the Barons, but Poolesville’s athleticism, strong hitting and team speed eventually gave way to the Barons’ possession passing game, superior conditioning, and relentless intensity.
            Both teams had several scoring opportunities in the first half. For the Barons, Clare Becker, Page Donnelly, Rachel Ruda, Catherine Mirsky, and Charlotte Kettler, in various combinations, worked the ball down the outside and into the circle. The Barons’ offensive pressure resulted in five penalty corners in the first half – Clare Becker to Mirsky to Kettler back to Mirsky for the shot resulted in several very good chances, but the Falcon’s goalie and able defenders kept the ball out of the goal with some fine play. At the 16 minute mark, Sunny Cobb drove the ball well into the circle and in the ensuing free for all in front of the Falcons’ net the goalie was forced to cover the ball, resulting in a Barons’ penalty stroke. Mirsky took a great shot, but the Falcon goaltender made a fine kick save and the score remained tied at zero. The momentum temporarily switched to the Falcons, who a minute later scored on a penalty corner of their own – only to have the goal disallowed because it was way too high.
            At the start of the second half, the play went back and forth – Clare Vieth was forced to make several excellent saves in traffic, and Meredith Storm, Julia Pernick, Sunny Cobb, and Ruth Andrews made some clutch plays in close to the Barons’ net. 
            But the Barons would not let up, and the Falcons started to wear down. In the face of the Barons pressure the Falcons resorted to a counterpunch game – blasting the ball downfield and speeding after it. This approach was ineffective because the Barons’ defenders, especially Julia Pernick and Meredith Storm, consistently attacked the ball, breaking up fast breaks and turning the ball back over to the Barons’ offense with steady outlet passes.
            As the second half went on, the tide built steadily in favor of the Barons, who kept their intensity and continued to execute at a high level while the Falcons gradually faded. The Barons worked harder, won the one-on-one confrontations, and took the initiative. At the fourteen minute mark, the Barons broke through on a penalty corner – Becker to Mirsky, to Kettler, back to Mirsky who blasted a shot in for the score. Four minutes later, the Falcons having overloaded the offensive end to press to tie the game, Mirsky broke out of the circle and blasted a ball 50 yards downfield to a streaking Page Donnelly, who turned on the jets and caught up to the ball just before the Falcons’ goalie could kick it out; Donnelly did a terrific job going wide around the goaltender, bringing the ball under control, ignoring the charging herd of Falcon defenders, and steering it into the net from a bad angle for the game-ending score.
            The Barons threatened to repeat the same play again minutes later, but the game ended with Kelsey Kiser streaking downfield in the open, with Donnelly matching her on the opposite wing.
            Overall, the Barons took a big step forward with the victory – the Barons played as if they expected to win this game; the Falcons played as if they weren’t sure. While everyone has to play well for the Barons to succeed, special kudos is due to Catherine Mirsky, who got better and stronger as the game got tougher, and Meredith Storm, who won Amy’s Apple with her stellar play.
Write Up From Calvin Cobb

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