HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY

Oct. 21, 2007

NOTES: Teams meet again in tournament

By NATHAN CHAMBERS
BeyondTheDerby.com

Given that there are just 17 teams in Kentucky high school field hockey and the better ones generally schedule each other during the regular season, rematches are inevitable in the state tournament.

All four quarterfinals on Saturday qualified as such, and that trend will continue in the semifinals on Monday.

Defending state champion Sacred Heart (24-0) will play Ballard (17-6) at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Louisville’s Trager Stadium. The Valkyries won both previous meetings, pulling out a 1-0 victory in the Apple Tournament final on Aug. 18 and rolling to a 4-1 win on Oct. 2.

Kentucky Country Day (20-6-1) will play Collegiate (19-7) at approximately 7 p.m. The Bearcats won their first meeting 3-2 in a flick-off on Sept. 6.

In case you’re wondering, any combination of those four teams in the final on Wednesday also would be a rematch.

Sacred Heart beat KCD 3-1 on Aug. 21; Sacred Heart beat Collegiate 4-0 on Oct. 4; Ballard beat KCD 4-3 in overtime in the Apple Tournament quarterfinals on Aug. 14; Ballard beat KCD again, 2-1, in a flick-off on Sept. 25; KCD beat Ballard 4-3 in overtime in the District 1 final last Wednesday; Ballard beat Collegiate 2-1 in the Apple Tournament semifinals on Aug. 17; and Ballard beat Collegiate again, 5-0, on Sept. 20.

McGill excels in loss

The most praised player on either side of Sacred Heart’s 1-0 overtime win over Assumption on Saturday was the losing goalie.

Assumption senior Jennifer McGill faced only five shots off the sticks of the Valkyries. But her assertiveness off the goal line defused several other situations and contributed to what was, all in all, her team’s most impressive effort in 2007.

“Jennifer was extremely aggressive,” Sacred Heart coach Liz Lewis said. “She played very well.”

Sacred Heart junior Olivia Miller, who scored the game’s only goal with 3:17 left in overtime, also noted McGill’s work.

“Jennifer’s a great goalie,” Miller said, “and she played a great game.”

McGill, who has committed to Ohio University, assumed the full-time duties in the cage this season after splitting time with then-senior Celia Johns last year.

“Honestly, that was her best game the entire season,” Assumption coach Debbie Judd said. “I thought she played better last year than she played this year - until today. She’s a heck of a goalie.”

Mercy seniors leave mark

What arguably was the best team in the brief history of Mercy field hockey played its last game on Saturday, bringing an end to the careers of 12 seniors who were the foundation for that success.

Mercy’s 22-6 record set a new standard for the eighth-year program and included regular season and postseason District 4 titles and the first win over perennial power Assumption. The Jaguars lost 2-0 to Ballard in the quarterfinals.

Leading the them there were seniors Allison Burns, Ashley Calvert, Ashley Demling, Kelsey Dennis, Alli Flood, CJ Hermes, Chelsea Metzger, Taylor Moad, Katie Norris, Mary Alice Pierce, Katie Spradlin and Amy Wimsatt.

“It’s a great senior class,” Setser said. “They were the biggest group of freshmen that we’ve had come in, and they’ve been a great group.”

Dean watches Ballard win

Molly Dean sat in a folding chair nestled between Ballard’s two benches in the win over Mercy on Saturday, leaning from side to side to peer around the teammates standing in front of her for a view of the action on the field.

Dean’s right knee was wrapped, three days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“It’s disappointing to not be able to play with the girls,” said Dean, a junior defender who is one of Ballard’s better players. “But I know how much potential they have, and I’m glad to be able to support them - even from the sidelines.”

She thinks she originally injured the knee before Ballard’s trip to St. Louis for the Gateway Classic in late August, but she continued to play until the pain became too severe during the loss to Sacred Heart on Oct. 2. She has missed the last six games.

“I’m sure I played on it a little more than I should have,” she said.

Hodge held without a goal

Collegiate started Saturday with two eight-game streaks. One ended there, but the Amazons will take the more important one into the semifinals.

While Collegiate won its ninth in a row with a 2-0 victory over Manual, sophomore Taylor Hodge was shut out after scoring at least one goal in each of the team’s previous eight games.

“That’s fine with me,” Collegiate coach Wendy Martin said. “I don’t want to have to rely on her all the time.”

Hodge still ranks second in Kentucky with 27 goals.