COLCHESTER -- In its first game since Oct. 1, the Essex High School (EHS) varsity field hockey team got back into the win column with a solid 5-1 victory at Colchester High School (CHS) Tuesday afternoon.
- Essex improves to 2-1 on the season with the win.
- Colchester drops to 3-3 on the year.
- The Hornets have now won their last two games against the Lakers and three of the last five meetings; EHS is 15-3-1 against Colchester since 2010.
- Tuesday was the first game in a busy, season-ending stretch for Essex which sees the Hornets play four games in seven days; they’re next in action on Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. start at Burlington.
How it Happened
First Quarter: Essex got on the board first after a slapped Hornet shot rang off the Laker goalkeeper and presented a rebound in front of the cage; EHS junior Annika Simard cleaned it up to put the visitors on top with 5:36 to go in the stanza, senior Eleanor Reed getting the assist.
Before the end of the frame, the Hornets extended their lead with what ended up being the game-winning score. Sophomore Ashley Clark sent a pass to classmate Peyton Ashe who fired a one-timer into the back of the goal.
Second Quarter: The Lakers had a good chance at trimming their deficit early into the second period, but EHS sophomore netminder Adowyn Byrne was able to turn away the shot.
The 2-0 tally held until the final minutes when Reed deked around Colchester defenders before sending home a well-placed take from the top of the shooting circle into the lower-left corner of the net.
The Lakers would get it back before the break, but not before the halftime horn. CHS earned a corner in the waning seconds and was able to capitalize on its opportunity with all zeros on the clock; a scramble in front of the cage led to senior Brynn Coughlin punching home a shot, classmate Hannah Carroll getting credited with the assist.
Third Quarter: EHS nearly went back up by three in the first few minutes of the second half off a corner, but senior Laker goalie Chloe Smith was able to make a great, pouncing save to her right.
Midway through the quarter, Byrne made a nice save of her own when she kicked away a good-looking shot with her right leg.
In the final minute of the third, Essex went up 4-1 when Reed sent a shot towards the left post; senior Adeline Deming was there to clean it up and make sure the ball found its way over the goal line, Reed being tagged with her second helper of the day.
Fourth Quarter: CHS sophomore Ryleigh Garrow made a strong effort to cut into the Hornets’ lead early in the final stanza when she went bursting through space up the right side of the field, but it didn’t amount to anything for the hosts.
Minutes later, Essex had a quality chance of its own by getting the ball right in front of the Lakers’ goal where it was knocked around; Smith was able to come up big, however, and get in front of the eventual shot.
With about eight minutes to go, Colchester had another great look at net off a corner, only to see Byrne knock it away with her left leg.
A corner at the other end resulted in the final tally of the day as the Hornets strung together a few passes around the top of the shooting circle, the last being off the stick of junior Elizabeth Tupaj who found Reed at the top-right edge; the senior captain fired it into the lower-left corner to all-but-end it.
Thoughts from Hornet Co-Head Coach Barbara Isham
What did you think about today’s game, and what were the keys to the win?
“It's only our third game of the season, so we've had a lot of time to practice on some of the little things. Today, I just felt like a lot of things clicked for us. Communication has been one of our focuses this season, a quick passing game, and working as a team.”
How do you think this result affects the team’s mindset going into the final stretch of the season?
“It’s so weird, because it's our third game this season, but it's the final stretch. Obviously, every game and every win is important, so this was key to help us push through. This is a big, important week, so it was important for everything to come together today.”