The C. Milton Wright Mustangs held firm Wednesday night on Harford Tech's turf field, beating the Cobras, 3-0, in the UCBAC Field Hockey Championship game to hoist their second straight conference title trophy.
The victory was CMW's sixth straight, and earned the Mustangs their second UCBAC title. Last season, the Mustangs captured their first Chesapeake (upper) Division UCBAC title in team history, then defeated Susquehanna (lower) Division champ Perryville, 2-0, in the 2012 title game.
As with last year, which saw the Mustangs head into the conference title game with a 12-1 overall mark, the CMW girls have suffered just one loss during the 2013 regular season, a 1-0 overtime defeat at the hands of Hereford on Sept. 30. Including a pair of tournament victories and Wednesday's win, the Mustangs went 15-1 and were undefeated in six Chesapeake Division contests.
Likewise, the Susquehanna champs from Harford Tech stormed through their division, going 7-0 to capture the title, while notching a 9-3 regular-season mark.
Wednesday's conference championship game looked early on as if it might be a rout, with the Mustangs finding the Harford Tech net just over 90 seconds after the opening whistle. After CMW was awarded a penalty corner, the Mustangs' Jenny Eckert inserted a pass to Sabrina Rhodes, who tucked away the game's first goal.
The Cobras, however, were able to hold off the Mustangs for the next 15 minutes, despite having the ball in their territory for the majority of that time.
"I'd say we had the ball down in their end 80 or 90 percent of the time," CMW Head Coach Janice Rhodes, who guided the Mustangs to their first conference title last year in her rookie season, said. "Harford Tech plays a really strong defensive game. They had two girls in the back who were very good, and their goalie is very skilled, too. She had a lot of saves tonight."
The Cobras' goalkeeper, Hannah Snyder, racked up a season-high 20 saves.
At the mid way point of the first half, the Mustangs were able to extend their lead to 2-0 as Eckert scored this time, notching a goal with an assist from Maggie Gallagher.
CMW went into the locker room at halftime with the 2-0 lead.
Seven minutes into the second half, CMW notched the final goal of the contest, with Sabrina Rhodes posting her second goal of the game, this one coming with a helper from Haley Matthai.
Rhodes said she was happy with her team's performance in the conference, but said the CMW practices between now and the 3A North regional tournament, which will have the Mustangs play their first on either Oct. 22 or Oct. 24, will focus mostly on offense.
"Our defense has been strong all season," Rhodes said. "That's one of our strong suits. We didn't allow many goals at all. And, through the first half of the season we scored a lot, but in the second half, not so much. We were winning games 1-0 and 2-0. Tonight, we had 15 penalty corners, and only scored on one of them. So, that's what we're going to work on in practice between now and the regional tournament. We're confident, and I think we'll do well."
Patterson Mill over John Carroll
The Patterson Mill Huskies (7-3-1 overall) took a non-UCBAC victory Wednesday, edging host John Carroll, 2-1.
The Huskies' goals were scored by Linnea Gonzalez and Mariel Castronova, while Alyssa Jourdan had Patterson Mill's only assist.
Lindsay Kraus scored John Carroll's goal.
North Harford defeated
The North Harford Hawks (8-4 overall) were topped, 3-0, on the road Wednesday by Howard.
North Harford goalie Jess Hart had five saves.