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Bristol field hockey struggles in loss to Jenkintown

BRISTOL – Bristol entered Tuesday afternoon’s matchup with Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) rival Jenkintown still searching for its first win. The Warriors left the field the same way, with the Drakes pasting an 8-1 triumph over Bristol.

“Our goal is to win; we definitely want to win,” said Warriors senior captain Olivia Alicea. “But it’s all about team effort. That’s all we look for in each game – our team effort and how we play with each other.

“We all get along so we just play well as a team.

“Really, that’s all that matters.”

The Drakes got a pair of goals each from three players, starting with sophomore midfielder Mia Kolb, who scored two minutes into the contest and again with less than a minute remaining in the first half, sending Jenkintown (9-5, 6-5: BAL) home with its ninth win of the season.

“Coming out, we wanted to take it up the left side of the field and cross it to the right and I thought we did a really nice job with that as well as our touches in the circle,” said Drakes head coach Katie Small.

Coming off of 3-0 and 4-0 wins over Plumstead Christian and Bishop McDevitt, respectively, Jenkintown scored more goals in this one than they did in their last two battles, combined.

“We’ve had a hard time in our recent games getting it in the cage and today, it looked like we finally figured out what it took to get our feet in the right position, get the hard drive on the cage and get those rebounds into the goal.”

Senior forward Lila Mullins – who tallied a goal in the fifth minute and scored again in the second half – and sophomore forward Taylor Spoerl also scored a pair of goals each for the Drakes.

Spoerl scored on a two-on-none break 12 and 1/2 minutes into the first period and again on a direct hit five minutes later, putting Jenkintown on top, 4-0. Jen Kremp registered one of two goals tallied by the Drakes on corner opportunities, hitting the back of the cage with nine minutes left in the first period. Ashley Kremp scored on a blast from the top of the circle with two minutes to play in the half.

Down 7-0, Bristol played the Drakes to a 1-1 standoff in the second half with freshman forward Kacie Pinelli scoring for the Warriors with 4 and 1/2 minutes to go in the game.

“We always look to see how they’re playing,” said Bristol coach Elyce Rickerl.

“They really turned it around – got much more aggressive in the second half.”

“They definitely looked a lot better in the second half, for sure.”

Last spring, the Warriors – now 0-11 – saw the departure of nine seniors including Jannieree Davis-Wooten, Katie Morris, Katelyn Santana and Jeannette Wise, the team’s goalie.

“This year, has really been a struggle because we lost a large group of graduating seniors,” added Rickerl, who helps guide the team along with head coach Stacey Albright.

“It’s been kind of a rebuilding year for us so we just aim to get better with each game.”

For her part, Coughlin really came through in this one, posting seven saves in the first half and four more in the second.

“She’s doing a great job. She’s a junior and she studied under Jeannette last year to get her bearings,” stated Rickerl, of Bristol’s current keeper.

“She’s just really on fire this year.”

Jenkintown’s goalie Courtney Tadaro is also doing a nice job for the Drakes, said Small, though the Warriors scored on their first shot in the game.

“It’s tough when you don’t see the ball for most of the game and then all of a sudden, they come down and you have 20 girls sitting in front of you,” explained Small.

“It’s easy to lose the ball but she does a really nice job. She has about six shutouts and has close to an 80 percent save rate.”

While the Warriors have not been to the postseason in a couple of seasons, Jenkintown went to a playoff just last year when it lost in the first round of districts to BAL rival DelCo Christian.

A young team in 2016, the Drakes had just two seniors – Mullins and defender Alicia McCarthy – starting in this one. A big asset this year are two sets of twins – Mia and Natalie Kolb along with Ashley and Jen Kremp. The sisters provided half the scoring in this one.

“They play basketball together so they really have learned where each other is on the field,” said Small, of the Kolb and Kremp sisters.

“Their passing between the backfield into the midfield and up has really been dominant for us the past few games and it’s really taking off towards the end of our season.

“We really look forward to what they’re going to bring the next couple weeks.”

The Drakes split with DelCo Christian this season, topping the Knights 2-1 at Jenkintown then falling 3-2 in Delaware County. The Drakes wrap up the season next week with battles against Christopher Dock and New Hope-Solebury, two teams Jenkintown lost to earlier this year.

“Both of those teams have been perennially strong. Michelle (Waldspurger/Dock) and Gwen (Smith/ NH-S) are excellent coaches and know how to coach their girls and they’re very disciplined,” said Small.

“They’re very good teams to play against so that you can benchmark your team and figure out what it is you need to do – so that the next time you see them, you’re ready to go.

With a battle pending Friday at Morrisville, the Drakes travel to Dock Monday, Oct. 17 before finishing the regular season Wednesday, Oct. 19 at home against New Hope for the annual Senior Game for Jenkintown.

Bristol has five games left and finishes its season Friday night, Oct. 21 at Suburban One rival Harry S Truman.

Contact Steve Sherman at ssherman@21st-Centurymedia.com or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter

Jenkintown 8, Bristol 1

JENKINTOWN             7  1 – 8

BRISTOL                         0  1 – 1

FIRST-HALF GOALS: J — Mia Kolb 2, Lila Mullins, Taylor Spoerl 2, Jen Kremp, Ashley Kremp; B — none.

SECOND-HALF GOALS: J — Lila Mullins; B — Kacie Pinelli.

PENALTY CORNERS: J — 13; B — none.

SHOTS-ON-GOAL: J — 19; B — 2.

SAVES: J — Courtney Tadaro 2; B — Michaela Coughlin 11.

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