HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY

Oct. 16, 2007

Crimsons finally come alive when it counts

By NATHAN CHAMBERS
BeyondTheDerby.com

Manual's Hannah Boyer

A self-described “field hockey nut,” Presentation coach Jill O’Bryan has watched a lot of games this season. She hadn’t seen Manual play any better than it did in the District 4 semifinals on Tuesday.

It just so happened to come at the expense of her Toppers.

After a disappointing regular season, the host Crimsons rose to the occasion in their first must-win game of 2007 and dominated the Toppers for a 3-1 victory at Rachel Baker Field.

“Our worst games were when we played them,” Manual coach Terri Kendall said, referring to a 1-0 loss to Presentation on Sept. 7 and a 2-1 win in the rematch on Sept. 18. “I’m really happy.”

The second-seeded Crimsons (11-12-2), who qualified for the state quarterfinals on Saturday and will play top-seeded Mercy in the district final at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, kept the ball on Presentation’s side of the field for most of the 60 minutes and earned 23 penalty corners - including 15 in the second half.

“They were a lot better this time, and it just wasn’t our best day,” O’Bryan said. “But we got beat by a good team. I can’t make any excuses.”

Kendall made several lineup changes, not the least of which was junior Hannah Boyer’s move from midfield to defense. Interestingly, Boyer (pictured) was more aggressive on the offensive end than she had been in weeks and even scored a goal, just her second of the season and her first since Manual’s 3-0 win over Holy Cross in its Apple Tournament opener on Aug. 11.

“This was her best game,” Kendall said. “She was on today.”

Boyer and her teammates wasted no time, hitting Presentation senior goalie Addie White with a flurry of shots in the third minute. The last one came off the stick of sophomore Katie Fenzel, who popped the ball into the cage for a 1-0 lead.

The Crimsons remained in control until the last five minutes of the half, when the third-seeded Toppers (10-12-0) strung together all six of their corners. Senior Caitlin Maguire scored off one of them, taking the insertion pass from junior Sue Stein and drilling an uncontested shot past Manual senior goalie Evan Fowler (4 saves), to tie the score with 1:12 left.

Kendall noted that junior Alex Gerrish, Manual’s fly on corners, was on the sideline with a hand injury at the time. “We didn’t have the right fly on that play,” Kendall said.

But the Crimsons bounced back in the second half, scoring twice in a little more than three minutes and preventing Presentation from putting a shot on junior goalie Emma Trawick (who replaced Fowler after halftime).

Sophomore Ellen Riley made it 2-1 with an assist from junior Moriah Facktor on a corner in the eighth minute, and Boyer added an insurance goal when she beat several defenders along the back line and backhanded a shot past White in the 11th minute.

Mercy scored all of its goals in the last 16 minutes of the first half in a 4-0 win over Holy Cross in the other District 4 semifinal on Tuesday.

Seniors Alli Flood, Taylor Moad and Katie Norris and junior Erin Schneidtmiller each scored once for the Jaguars (21-5). Norris and Schneidtmiller also each had an assist.

Mercy beat Manual 3-1 in their only meeting on Sept. 27.

“I want the girls to know that they can’t rest on their laurels,” Kendall said.