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O’Brien collects hat trick, Plymouth Whitemarsh cruises past Upper Dublin

UPPER DUBLIN >> Plymouth Whitemarsh’s field hockey team is chasing a fourth straight Suburban One League American Conference title.

And the Colonials aren’t taking prisoners.

Thursday afternoon the Colonials authored a spotty first half, and led by only two goals at the break.

That was hardly the case in the second half, however, as the visitors ran off six goals en route to an 8-1 win that left little doubt who the favorite is in the SOL American this year.

“I can’t say I expected anything like this,” said Colonials head coach Charise Halteman. “Most times, when we play Upper Dublin, they give us a run for our money.

“In the last couple of years, when we’ve been winning championships, our goals have been coming from a lot of the same people. This year, we’ve gotten a lot more production from a lot more people, and that’s making it fun for everybody.”

“Our forwards have really stepped up this year,” said midfielder Frankie O’Brien, who came into the game with only one goal all year and collected three Thursday. “This year we haven’t had to rely on the back so much, we kind of changed our style.

“We’re working a lot more give-and-goes and things like that. And the new style is working for us as a team.”

The Colonials fun started in the first half when both Kerin Bechtel and O’Brien found the cage to give the visitors the lead.

At the break, Upper Dublin head coach Heather Boyer cajoled her troops to get back in the game.

“We talked about not being out of it in the first half, and that we were close to making it a game,” the coach said.

Instead, the Colonials came out and blew open the game as Julia Fiddler and Jess Bendle both scored to double the visitors’ advantage.

Then, after Emma Mead got the Cardinals on the board, goals by Bechtel, Fiddler and two more by O’Brien closed out the game.

“In years past, when we’ve played Upper Dublin, they’ve given us a run for our money,” Halteman said. “Today, I thought they played well in that first half, but we were able to get a couple of goals early in the second half, and they slumped a little.”

“Our whole team is stepping up right now,” O’Brien said. “We’d like to go out with a fourth straight SOL championship. That’s the goal.”

Meanwhile, all Boyer could do was lament an off day and hope for a better response when the Cardinals play North Penn Friday.

“Today, it was like we were standing under the mountain, and one rock above us shook out and then another one and the next thing we knew we were under a pile of rubble.

“But this is a fun group to work with. We have a lot of new people on the field and they’re learning as they go.”



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