Mt. Hebron 2, Atholton 1
Mt. Hebron rallied to hand Atholton its first loss of the season.
“We knew we had to contain Rachel (Day) and Jen (Bleakney),” said Mt. Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland. Those two Atholton players had four goals each in a game last Friday.
Bleakney scored the game’s first goal on a beautiful shot on a corner play in the first half.
“We couldn’t been see the ball go in,” Ireland said.
After Atholton scored, the Raiders controlled the rest of the first half.
The second half was a different story.
Ireland said she told her team at half, “We are in this game. We are only down by one. They scored a gorgeous goal You are playing well.”
The Vikings took the pep talk to heart.
Tianna Wallpher had a breakaway and got the ball into Atholton’s defensive circle.
“Tianna set us up quite a few times,” Ireland said.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Vikings kept their sticks on the ball in the circle. Wallpher had a goal and then assisted Lauren Schaaf on Mt. Hebron’s other goal.
“Our defense came up huge,” Ireland said.
Keeper Chachi Kelehan had eight saves.
“Her play was so critical,” Ireland said. “She stopped a lot of aerials and she had some great saves.”
The Vikings also got outstanding play from left back Hannah Scheid who cut off Atholton’s through balls.
Mt. Hebron scored its second goal with 8 minutes left in the game. The afternoon was extremely hot and Ireland said “We were really gasping. Staying on offense sucks the life out of them.”
But up by a goal, her team put the 8 remaining minutes in perspective. “That’s really a long time to hold on,” Ireland said. “But they said, ‘8 minutes. That’s a perimeter (run). We can do this. That leadership was huge.”
Because Glenelg also lost, the loss had less sting for Atholton than it might have.
“I can’t say it was great hockey, but we played well enough to win,” Ireland said.