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Jess Dixon drives Plymouth Whitemarsh to victory over Springfield-Montco

SPRINGFIELD >> Junior attacker Jess Dixon gave the Plymouth Whitemarsh field hockey team all the offense it needed in a Suburban One League American Conference game Tuesday afternoon at Springfield Township High School. She scored two goals to lift the Colonials to a 2-0 win over Springfield-Montco.

The first of her goals came with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. PW was knocking on the door for much of the first 28 minutes, but could not get anything past Spartans senior goaltender Isabelle Boles.

With 1:50 before the break, Dixon grabbed a rebound, fought through a crowd and put her side ahead, 1-0.

“I was getting mad because I didn’t want to lose,” Dixon said. “I just kind of forced it through — all my anger I put through the ball I guess.”

Gene Walsh — Digital First Media Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Sophie Kolkka reaches for a loose ball in front of Springfield’s Ellie Hamilton September 13, 2016.

Plymouth Whitemarsh’’s Sophie Kolkka reaches for a loose ball in front of Springfield’’s Ellie Hamilton during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The second goal came with 10:24 left in the game. Similar to the first, it was hectic in front of Springfield’s net. Dixon smacked a shot from the right side and into the back of the cage and gave PW a little breathing room.

“Sam Spera had a great ball and passed it to me,” Dixon said. “Thank God I was lucky and ready and I got it in.”

“(Dixon) has really improved her skills over the last year,” PW coach Charise Halteman said. “She’s really becoming a threat on attack. She has some great stick skills, so it’s great for her to actually get to finish on cage.

“We always seem to struggle to score when we’re on grass, so it was good to get one in the first half — have a lead going into halftime — and then end up getting another one that gave us a little bit of insurance.”

The Colonials only tallied two goals, but they were on the attack for most of the game. They forced Springfield’s Boles to make seven saves compared to just three for PW’s goalie Caitlyn Miller.

Plymouth Whitemarsh improved to 4-0 this season with the victory and 3-0 in SOL American play.

Gene Walsh — Digital First Media Springfield’s Ciara Hamilton blocks the ball from Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Michelle McGrath September 13, 2016.

Springfield’’s Ciara Hamilton blocks the ball from Plymouth Whitemarsh’’s Michelle McGrath during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (Gene Walh/Digital First Media)

“We’re off to a good start,” Halteman said. “It’s a good place to be. We knew our league was going to have some tougher competition this year with the addition of Quakertown and Hatboro-Horsham, so we wanted to start off the league with strong play so we could set ourselves up well at the end of the season. We have to play everybody twice, so it’s always a battle the second time around. Winning breeds confidence and I definitely think the more the girls are able to start off on a strong note, it makes us more confident at the end of the season.”

Springfield falls to 0-2 both overall and in the league.

“We were able to do some things,” Springfield coach Linda Nixon said of the offense. “We’re getting better, so that’s a nice thing.

“I thought it was our best effort (against PW). We’ve had no non-league games and only one league game because of the heat and the field is horrible. This is good in comparison to what it’s been. It takes a lot. It takes a village to build a team. I expected PW to be skilled and quick and they were and I thought for where we are, we did a nice job with them. We are (trending in the right direction). If we could stay on that trend we’ll be in better shape and looking forward to playing on turf.”

Top Photo: Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Jess Dixon controls a pass during a game against Springfield on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

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