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Gwynedd Mercy stays hot, beats St. Basil for 3rd straight win

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Tuesday’s 7-0 victory over Saint Basil Academy is just the latest win for a surging Gwynedd Mercy Academy field hockey team.

After starting the season 1-4, Tuesday’s win at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School makes it three straight for the Monarchs to even their record at 4-4 and have them right in the middle of the Catholic Academies League standings.

“We had a lot of adjustments we needed to make, tactically,” GMA coach Alex McMahan said. “We addressed them. We moved some people around the field and now we put it all together. We put it all together and I think we’re going to see an up-tick in our season now. The team’s playing really well together.”

The scoring started early and continued throughout the entire first half for GMA. Lilly Gilmore scored just 77 seconds into the game and Kaitlyn McCauley made it 2-0 less than two minutes later.

Caroline Sweeney and Alden Bocella each added a goal before the midway point of the first half to give the Monarchs a commanding 4-0 lead.

McCauley scored her second goal later in the first half and sent GMA to the break with a 5-0 edge.

The Monarchs played mostly ball control in the second half, but Gilmore added her second goal and Hanna Saxon scored to put their side ahead, 7-0.

In all, five different Monarchs scored goals in the win.

“We have a lot of different contributors on offense which is great,” McMahan said. “A lot of our forwards play mid and a lot of our mids play forward. It’s nice to have the team be well-rounded like that. We can put anybody on the forward line and expect them to get the job done.

“This team is absolutely a team effort across the board. The expectations are the same for every single player regardless of how long they’ve been playing or what position they’re playing and they all contribute equally. It’s a great team this year.”

The defense may have been even better against Basil. GMA didn’t allow the visiting Panthers a single shot on net in the entire contest.

The defensive performance against Basil was GMA’s best of the season, but the defense has shown plenty of improvement during the three-game winning streak.

“Our focus was to play good defense outside of the circle,” McMahan said of Tuesday’s win. “We were trying to prevent (shots) from happening. They did really well. They did their job.

“We addressed our marking issue,” McMahan added about how the defense has improved over the course of the season. “We addressed our out-letting issue. Other than that, it’s just the way the ball bounces. It seems like they’ve been doing really well together as a unit.”

The Monarchs start their second round of league play Wednesday against Mount Saint Joseph Academy and look to challenge for the top spot in the standings.

“We feel like a different team than how we started this season,” McMahan said. “So it’ll be exciting to see how the other teams have evolved, too, over the course of the season and to see how much progress we’ve made.”



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