Arundel coach Carrie Vosburg’s message to her players before the Wildcats’ field hockey game at Glenelg on Tuesday was different than any she will give all season.
“At the end of the day, I told them it didn’t have to look pretty and we just needed to get the win,” she said.
Vosburg’s players did just that, scoring early and shutting out the Gladiators in a 3-0 victory.
The reason Vosburg’s mentality changed, she said, was due to the game being played on Bermuda grass instead of on artificial turf. It is the only game the Wildcats will play on Bermuda all season, Vosburg said.
Arundel junior Nikki Seven talks Wildcats field hockey after 3-0 win over Glenelg
With artificial turf fields becoming the norm on high school campuses, field hockey games are more often being played on those surfaces, where the gameplay is faster.
“Since we were playing on not the best surface, we just wanted to get the job done, get it over with and get out of here,” Vosburg said. “I would never book a game to be played on this surface. This is what I played on when I was in high school. … That’s Howard County, but whatever.”
Junior Nikki Seven, who had a goal and an assist, said the players were prepared for a “slower game” on the Bermuda.
“I think we had to be mentally tough,” she said. "We have really good stick skills, so playing on such a slow turf we had to adjust some of the skills we could use.”
Arundel (3-0-1) got on the scoreboard less than four minutes into the game. Lana Hamilton fired a pass to Seven, who found the back of the cage on the set corner play.
“Just having the momentum in the game and getting that first goal gives us a little relief,” Seven said. “I wish we would’ve gotten a little more on the board to relax on, but it was really nice having the first goal of the game.”
Neither team scored for the next 45 minutes, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Arundel peppered Glenelg goalies Rachel Barker and Hala Silverstein, who combined to tally 14 saves, with 24 shots in the game, while the Gladiators attempted 16 shots. In fact, Glenelg controlled possession for a 10-minute period in the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“If this was played on turf, this would have been a much different game,” Vosburg said.
“I was really impressed in our girls stepping up and winning the 50-50 (balls) and utilizing their speed,” said Glenelg head coach Nikki Trunzo. “That’s one thing we have to work on, is our spacing and our finishing. Our front line is really young, but it’s cool to see them improving each week.”
The Wildcats put the game away late in the second half with goals from Jillian Trout and Kellie Kaiss. Trout’s goal with about 11 minutes left was unassisted, while Seven assisted Kaiss’ goal with 10 seconds remaining.
“I love when my teammates score,” Seven said. “It’s honestly better than when I score. Seeing the excitement, it really builds our team chemistry and that’s part of our team dynamic this year.”
Trunzo said she’s happy to play difficult teams from Anne Arundel County to start the season. Glenelg, the defending Class 2A runner-up, is 0-2 this year with losses to Broadneck and Arundel — both of which won 4A playoff games last season.
“Our goal is to always play competitively,” Trunzo said. “All the Anne Arundel County teams are very strong. We played Broadneck and lost 5-1, and our goal was to build off that. We want to play tough teams and figure out what we need to do to fix it for the future.”
Glenelg hosts River Hill Thursday, while Arundel plays in the MAX National Invitational this weekend in Philadelphia.
Arundel 3, Glenelg 0
Goals: A — Jillian Trout, Kellie Kaiss, Nikki Seven.