Severn sails past NDP, 3-0


Only teams with mascots such as Admirals and Pirates would play a field hockey game in a driving nor'easter. Yesterday, the Admirals proved more seaworthy.

The rain didn't seem to bother No. 5 Severn as Jessica Burke scored two goals to lead the Admirals over No. 7 Notre Dame Prep, 3-0, in an AIS A Division nonleague game.

"I personally was not very excited about playing in this rain," said Admirals back Joyce Wu, who was nursing a cold. "But it got to be fun. Once you get drenched, you really don't care anymore."

It also helps to score in the first minute.

Severn (4-1 overall, 0-0 league) threatened from the opening whistle, moving quickly down the field for the first of 13 penalty corners.

Although the Admirals didn't score directly off the corner pass, Erin Fowler centered the ball for Burke, who slipped it past Pirates keeper Allison Helmstetter (six saves).

"That really boosted morale for us," said Wu, "because sometimes we have a little trouble scoring."

The rain made it hard to take solid shots off corner passes. The Admirals scored all of their goals on second or third attempts.

Three minutes into the second half, Burke scored her second goal on a pass from Liz Cullen that caught Helmstetter moving the other way.

The Admirals added a goal when Cullen tapped in a feed from Claire Wagner midway through the half.

"We've been working on scoring more," said first-year Admirals coach Amy McConnell.

"We played a great game against [No. 1] Severna Park last Friday, and that's what we've been trying to expect from them. We lost, 2-1. You come to think of Severna Park as dominating the whole game, and they weren't that dominant at all. As many chances as they had, we had."

As strong as the Admirals' offense was against the Pirates (0-1, 0-0), their defense proved just as tough with backs Wu, Amy Galeback and Gussie Haback, sweeper Elizabeth Edsall and keeper Jill Stursa (three saves).

The Pirates, frequently called for fouls, threatened only in spurts. Fiveof their six shots came in the last five minutes of the first half.

Freshman Kate Kaiser dodged three defenders to set up her one-on-one with Stursa, who made a great save. Stursa then turned back two more Kaiser shots. Two NDP follow-up shots were wide, including one that hit the post.

For the Admirals, who returned all but one starter from last year's AIS finalist team, the experience showed against coach Kathleen Gower's rebuilding Pirates, who lost all but one starter.

"We have to get more used to playing with each other," said NDP back Gretchen Ginter. "We've come a long way since we started but we need to move faster.

"This could definitely be good for us," Ginter added. "Losing the first game just motivates us all that much more to win."

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