High school coaches have a tall order to fill.
They teach many lessons from how to play the game to how to react in certain life situations. Among the top of the lessons is how to work hard and to use your talents to the benefit of the team. It seems that Rashmi Bhanot's Long Reach team is listening and reaping the benefits with a 4-1 win over Reservoir.
"They did exactly what we worked on in practice yesterday," Bhanot said. "We worked on transitions, quick inside/outside passes, using our centers in a purposeful manner and switching the field."
The Lightning passing was tight as it battled back and forth with Reservoir for the first 10 minutes of the game. With several scoring opportunities it was robbed a goal by Reservoir freshman Carly Clarke who made a defensive save on the goal line.
The Lightning kept pounding. Mckenzie Williams was the first to tally an unassisted goal in a scramble in front of the cage. Williams tallied two more in the following 10 minutes to earn a hat trick.
Then, with three minutes left in the first half, Williams found Alina Milauskas who scored in the aftermath of a corner. The Lightning went into the half leading, 4-0.
The second half introduced a new, feistier Reservoir squad. The Gators finally put a point on the boards when junior Allison Costenbader connected with Clarke at the 17 minute mark.
Coach Lindsay Beil praised Costenbader's performance. "I can put her anywhere on the field and I know that she will do her job and advance the ball down the field."
Although they tried, the Gators did not have enough to put in another goal. They did, however, hold the Lightning scoreless the entire second half.
"Second half was much, much better. It always takes us longer to adjust in the first half," Beil said. "We come out ready to go in the second half and are a whole new team. Right now, we just need to buckle down and do what we need to do the first half so that we don't fall behind and are the first ones to get on the board."
"I had more confidence after we scored the goal, but we just didn't keep going with it as much as I wanted to," Clarke said.
The Long Reach players were exceedingly happy with their performance.
"I think that as a team we played the best that we have all season," Williams said. "Everything that we have been doing in practice paid off. Everyone did their part and it showed."
"They did everything I wanted them to do. This is the best field hockey game I've seen them play," said Bhanot. "In all the years coaching at Long Reach, this, by far, is the best team."
Long Reach 4, Reservoir 1
Goals: LR — Williams 3, Milauskas. Re — Clarke.
Assists: LR — Williams, McClelland. Re — Costenbader.
Saves: LR — Cote 11. Re — Lynch 16.
Halftime: Long Reach, 4-0.
Atholton 8, Oakland Mills 1