Westminster field hockey stuns Atholton in sectional final
By By Jake Rill and Baltimore Sun Media Group
Oct 28, 2014 at 5:03 AM
WESTMINSTER, MD — Atholton field hockey coach Martie Dyer said she was in disbelief.
Her Raiders had a multitude of scoring chances. They controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the game. But for a team that typically plays on turf fields, a shift to a grass one at Westminster for Monday's Class 3A East Section II final was too much to overcome.
The typically high-scoring Raiders were held scoreless, falling 2-0 to the Owls, as their season came to an end.
"The ball just doesn't bounce the same," Dyer said. "We had a great season and I don't think the better team won today. We dominated, we just couldn't get the ball in the goal."
Emily Bennett put Westminster ahead 1-0 off an assist from Mia Moshang close to the front of the cage with 7 minutes, 48 seconds to go in the first half, coming off of a penalty corner. Then, the Owls' defense went back to shutting down the Raiders, who continually had chances off of penalty corners and fast breaks.
But Atholton (13-3), which scored more than 100 goals this season, never found the back of the box against Westminster.
Owls goalie Hailey Poisal led the way with 13 saves.
"There was a lot of close chances, don't get me wrong, but Hailey stepped up," Westminster coach Mary Rivera said.
Facing a high-scoring opponent, Rivera said she wanted to see her team add another goal to its lead. Sophia DeFeo did just that for the Owls (13-2-1) with 15:04 to go in the second half.
Westminster's Tori McDonald was on the left side of the circle and found an open DeFeo just in front of the box. DeFeo, the Owls' leading scorer, got it past Raiders goalie Emily Clinch for a 2-0 lead.
The Raiders had even more opportunities after falling behind 2-0. They had 11 penalty corners in the final 20 minutes. But each time, either Atholton's shot would go wide, Poisal would make a save, or the Raiders would fail to get a shot off.
In the sectional semifinals, the Raiders beat Mt. Hebron, 5-0. And for most of the season, they had no trouble handily beating opponents.
Atholton had a 16-0 win over Long Reach and a 15-0 win over Hammond earlier this season, relying heavily on Jen Bleakney, who is playing for Syracuse next year.
But on Monday, not even Bleakney could score for the Raiders.
However, Dyer said she is pleased with the season they had.