EAST MARLBOROUGH—It’s getting to be crunch time in the regular season of field hockey, and while Bishop Shanahan is nearly certain to have a slot on the District 1, Class AA playoffs, every last win will go a long way towards a higher seed and a home date for at least the opening round.
Tuesday afternoon on an oddly warm day for October, the Eagles squared off against a tough Unionville team, an Indians squad still clinging to hopes of a playoff bid of their own. After 55:50 of pretty much dead even play, the Eagles (7-5-1, 7-1-1) broke through with a goal from Abby Bruggeman to edge the host Indians (6-8, 6-3) by a 1-0 margin.
“We really needed a win,” said Shanahan coach Nancy Roselli. “We had a tough week last week when we weren’t really passing well, and just not playing as well as we can. It was tough that it was hot again and we had some kids getting tired, but I think we worked really well together and got a big win.”
The game winner came late in the second half. The Eagles brought the ball down the right side, in front of their bench, and then worked it across in front of the cage to Tori Morris. Morris froze the goalie, then slapped it over to Bruggeman waiting on the post, and Bruggeman made the easy tip in.
“There was a lot of really good passing as we brought the ball down the right side of the field,” said Bruggeman. “Then I saw it come across and just knew I had to put it in. Unionville is always good, and they played well today, too, so this was a nice win for us. This does a lot for us as a team.”
The first half was about as even as could be. The teams roughly split possessions, and thanks to great, clean defensive efforts from both teams, there were just two penalty corners over the first thirty minutes of play. The Eagles had both opportunities.
“It was somewhat frustrating to make that many trips inside the circle and only come away with one goal,” said Roselli. “That will be our challenge for the next game, to capitalize on our offensive chances.”
In the end, Shanahan held a 7-2 edge over Unionville in penalty corners, while the two teams were even in shots on goal at five apiece.
“We communicated really well today,” said Shanahan defender Madison Parke. “Whenever the ball was coming our way, we all let each other know where to be and who to mark, and our midfielders did an amazing job getting back and helping us out. This was just a good game played by both teams.”
Though Unionville falls to 6-8, they still rank in the top 20 in class AAA, with the top 24 qualifying for the District tournament. A strong finish would keep the Indians’ nearly decade long streak of District playoff appearances alive.
Bishop Shanahan 0 1—1
Unionville 0 0—0
Goalie Saves: Amber Bryan (BS) 2, Alana Pappas (BS) 3; Detweiler (UN) 4
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