Coaches take different views on field hockey draw

Sometimes a tie is a win, and sometimes it’s a loss. That might be considered the lesson of the Arundel-St. Mary’s field hockey game in Annapolis Monday.

After a quick burst of goals in the first half, neither the Wildcats nor the Saints could pull away in the second half or overtime, and the teams tied 2-2.

Arundel (3-0-2) remains unbeaten, but head coach Carrie Vosburg let her players know after the game that she expected sharper play.

“I was pretty hard on them,” Vosburg said. “We have a tough game on Wednesday against Severna Park. This wasn’t their best. So I told them that.”

On the other end of the field, St. Mary’s (1-1-1) head coach Lauren Skrenchuk had a different outlook concerning her team.

“I was just very pleased with their level of play tonight,” Skrenchuk said. “Yes, it’s a tie, but a tie’s just as good as a win sometimes.”

Thirteen minutes into the game, with the game scoreless, Vosburg called a timeout. It seemed to spark the Wildcats into action, because when play resumed, they finally got off their first handful of shots and penalty corners. This ended with sophomore attack Kathleen Bevan scoring the game’s first goal, less than four minutes after the timeout.

“We’ve been really working on playing a smarter game, especially defensively, and we really weren’t doing that,” she said. “We were kind of playing frantic. We just reminded them (during the timeout) to play patient, take a deep breath, take a few seconds and make smarter or better decisions.”

St. Mary’s got on the board about six minutes later when junior attack Spira Rosseau executed a slick dodge around her defender and passed to sophomore attack Kaitlyn Panebianco near the post, who then scored. Arundel took the lead again after a corner, as a shot was saved and junior attack Katie Keane scored off the rebound. But Saints senior midfielder Caitie Bell Cowdrey knotted it back up at 2 right away off an assist from Molly McAteer.

The second half felt more like a stalemate, with more possession changes than serious scoring threats. The Wildcats closed out the frame with two corner attempts, but couldn’t get the ball past the Saints’ senior goalkeeper, Maddie Gutkowski, who bent over backwards for some crucial saves.

The 10-minute extra period passed by much like the second half, with a few more close calls. McAteer made a stick save on an early Arundel shot, and both teams had some shots go wide.

Arundel finished with 12 shots and 13 corners to St. Mary’s six shots and three corners.

“They’re a good team. They obviously are well-conditioned and physical,” Vosburg said of St. Mary’s. “I think it’s a little unfortunate because I do think we did do some nice things. We just, unfortunately, didn’t do them consistently.”

It was the goals the Wildcats let through that left Vosburg with a bad taste in her mouth.

“I really think the two goals (St. Mary’s) scored were solely because there were just (Arundel) errors and somebody didn’t trust their back,” Vosburg said. “We have two very strong backs, we have a strong goalie. (The players) needed to trust that they were gonna do their job instead of getting their sticks in and causing an error.”

“We stuck to our defense and we held them strong. It doesn’t matter how many shots they get off; it matters how many we stop,” Skrenchuk said, praising Gutkowski in particular.

Skrenchuk is happy with her team’s cohesion in the early weeks of the season, saying her team lost 11 seniors to graduation last year. (Coincidentally, that’s also true of Arundel’s roster.)

“I think they’ve really applied (themselves) coming into this third game,” Skrenchuk said. “They’ve done well working with a brand-new team.”

St. Mary’s will return to IAAM A Conference play Wednesday when it hosts Notre Dame Prep, but Skrenchuk was happy with the benefits gleaned from this game against the Saints’ lone public school opponent in 2017.

“It’s great to see the level of play. It’s still a very high level of play like we do in the A Conference, so it’s great for us to get out of our eight-team conference and play other conferences,” Skrenchuk said. “This was a really strong game. We really weren’t sure what we were gonna come into and Arundel always has a very strong team, and we were ready for it.”

Meanwhile, Arundel will host Severna Park Wednesday in a matchup of two of the best teams in Anne Arundel.

Arundel 2 0 0 — 2

St. Mary’s 2 0 0 — 2

Goals: AR — Bevan, K. Keane; SM — Panebianco, Cowdrey. Assists: AR — Malone; SM — Rosseau. Saves: AR — Lysse 2, SM — Gutkowski 9. Shots: AR — 12, SM — 6. Corners: AR — 13, SM — 3.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
32°