HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY

Oct. 15, 2007

Hodge rescues Amazons in district semifinals

By NATHAN CHAMBERS
BeyondTheDerby.com

Not looking a hair taller than her 5-foot, 1-inch frame or a second older than her 16 years, Collegiate sophomore Taylor Hodge easily could be mistaken for just another kid.

Just don’t let that kid near your goal when she’s holding a stick in her hands.

Collegiate's Taylor Hodge (center) and Sarah Jessee (right)

Hodge, who scored three times in the first half of the Kentucky Lacrosse Association High School Girls’ Division 1 championship last May 17, now is the second-leading scorer in another stick sport - Kentucky high school field hockey - after her two most important goals yet saved Collegiate’s season in the District 3 semifinals at Atherton on Monday.

Hodge scored with 10 minutes left in the second half to force overtime and scored again four minutes into the extra period, giving the second-seeded Amazons a 2-1 win over third-seeded Male.

“She has a nose for the ball in there,” Collegiate coach Wendy Martin said, “and she just does something with the opportunities she gets.”

Hodge’s heroics sent the Amazons (17-7) into both the District 3 final on Wednesday and the state quarterfinals on Saturday. Collegiate will play top-seeded Assumption (18-5-2) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

“I’m so happy to be able to do it for the seniors,” said Hodge (pictured, at center, embraced by teammate Sarah Jessee), who has scored 26 goals. “This could have been their last game. I’ve got two more years.”

Male’s own super sophomore, goalie Megan Martiny, almost did the same for her senior teammates. She made 13 of her 15 saves in the second half, when the Amazons had a 14-1 advantage in shots and an 18-0 advantage in penalty corners.

“Their goalie is tough,” Martin said.

The Bulldogs (14-8-1) had jumped ahead 1-0 when a shot hit Collegiate junior goalie Cece Lindsey (3 saves) in the pads, the ball rolled behind her, and senior Jamie Kraemer hit it into the cage.

The Amazons threatened to tie the score throughout the second half, and Hodge finally did it on the team’s 13th corner. Senior Sara Sanders took the initial shot, which Martiny stopped, but Hodge corralled the ball in a scrum off the opposite post and punched it into the cage before Martiny could recover.

“We wanted to get a deflection and make (Martiny) move to the other side,” Martin said. “Sara took an awesome shot, and Taylor was there to put it in.”

The Amazons kept the pressure on Male, earning four corners in the last three minutes, but couldn’t score. Then, in overtime, senior Anouk Westerveld drove a free hit toward the cage from outside the circle, and Hodge redirected the ball past Martiny to end the game.

“Anouk put it right between two people for me, and I happened to get my stick down,” Hodge said. “I was worried. It seemed like it was moving so slow, and I thought someone was going to come in and save it in the nick of time.”

But time ran out on the Bulldogs - and seniors Kraemer, Jill Green, Elena Jones, and Jen Seewer - instead.

“We have a young team,” Male coach Amy Shumate said. “We’ll be back with a vengeance next year.”

In the other District 3 semifinal on Monday, senior Lauren Schmeing and sophomore Shelby Hawkins each scored twice as Assumption routed fourth-seeded Atherton 10-0. Schmeing, who has committed to the University of Louisville, has scored 26 goals this season.

The newly-instituted mercy rule brought the game to an end with almost 10 minutes left in the second half.

Seniors Lauren Noe, Maggie Swindall, and Lauren Weir, juniors Jenna Quill and Samantha Saunders, and sophomore Brittany Raque each scored a goal for the Rockets.

District 1 at Ballard

Senior Christena Burell scored four goals, increasing her season total to a state-best 30, to lead second-seeded Kentucky Country Day to a 10-0 win over third-seeded South Oldham.

The mercy rule also was invoked in this game.

Seniors Maggie Bade and Maggie Flowers each scored two goals for the Bearcats (18-6-1), who will play top-seeded Ballard in the district final at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Seniors Christy Chapman and Gray Robinson each scored one.

District 2 at Eastern

Lauren Beam scored two goals for fourth-seeded Seneca, which beat fifth-seeded Fern Creek 4-0 to earn a semifinal date with defending state champion Sacred Heart on Wednesday.

Amanda Hernandez and Anne Fowler also scored for the RedHawks (6-15-1).

District 4 at Manual

Taylor Burkhart, Gina Perronie, and Natalie Wilson each scored for fifth-seeded Holy Cross in a 3-2 win over fourth-seeded St. Francis.

The Cougars (7-11), who had lost to St. Francis 4-3 in a flick-off on Sept. 18, will play top-seeded Mercy in the district semifinals at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tori Regamoza and Laura Wallace scored for the Wyverns (4-12-1).