The MPSSAA region field hockey playoffs got underway Tuesday and Havre de Grace was a playoff winner for the first time in a long time on the turf at James R. Harris Stadium.
The Warriors (4-9) shut out winless Joppatowne (0-10), 6-0, in the opening round of play in the Class 1A North bracket. It’s been more than a dozen years since the Warriors won a playoff game.
Havre de Grace moves on to play at Fallston (7-5) in Thursday’s next round.
“This game, they came out ready to play, it’s been a great season for our girls,” Warriors coach Rebecca Rogers said.
It took a little while for the Warriors to find the goal, but freshman Julianna Eder took care of that with both first half Havre de Grace goals.
Eder was left all alone in front of the Joppatowne cage, when a pass from fellow freshman Bailey Swart found her stick. Eder easily pushed the ball onto the goal for the 1-0 lead with 22:00 left in the half.
Joppatowne first year head coach Amy Berman called timeout with 11:26 left in the half to give her team a break. The Mariners played with one sub, while Havre de Grace played with none.
Four minutes later, Havre de Grace had a flurry of offensive activity off a corner, but no goal. The Warriors had five corners in the first half and seven more in the second half, but none produced any of the six goals. Joppatowne had four corners, two in each half.
With 2:01 left in the opening half, Eder added her second goal with an assist from A’maya Green.
The Warriors lead grew to 3-0 on an Payton DeLeva goal eight minutes into the second half.
Warriors coach Rogers called a timeout just past the midiway point of the second half with the score still 3-0.
Senior captain Green added the fourth Havre de Grace goal with 11:33 left. The goal came on a rebound after Joppatowne goalie Logan Clark had made am initial save.
“As a captain for the varsity Havre de Grace team, I am very blessed and very happy to be able to begin the new generation of winning,” Green said.
While it was the first playoff win in double-digit years for Havre de Grace, it had been 3-4 years that team had won a game.
“We haven’t won a game as a Havre de Grace field hockey team in over four years and it feels great,” Green added.
Just over a minute after Green’s score, Swart banged in the first of two straight. Swart had many opportunities, but the pads of Mariners goalie Clark absorbed many of the shots.
\With 10:14 to play, though, Swart’s hard shot found its way past Clark and in for the 5-0 lead.
It was Swart that closed the scoring with just under two minutes left in the game. Swart battled with Clark, before finally getting ball past and into the goal.
“It feels amazing to win, knowing the fact that we haven’t won in over four years and me being a freshman and part of this team full of upperclassmen who are loving and supporting,” Swart said. “It’s an awesome sport and I’m so glad to be a part of it.”
Havre de Grace goalie Tori Jacobs had two saves, while Clark finished with 10 for the Mariners.
“So this was our last game of the season, we have improved quite a bit over the last few weeks,” Joppatowne coach Amy Berman said. “It’s been a great learning experience for all of us. We had a lot of fun, that was the one thing I really appreciate about my girls. They always have a good time even if the score is not in our favor.”
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports