Balanced Cougars roll past Great Valley

But it was neither tight, nor low scoring, as the Cougars coupled a smooth passing game with a defensive effort that swept the ball to the sidelines with regularity. The end result was a 5-0 East victory to remain in first in the National.

“We saw the stats from Great Valley-Unionville game, and there weren’t many shots taken by either team,’ said East coach Stephanie Bullock. “We figured that most of the game was going to be in the middle of the field, so our first objective was to control the middle, then work outside.’

With a pass-happy approach to offense, no East player is dribbling the ball for any length of time, creating scoring opportunities for any number of players. Five different players scored for the Cougars (7-1 Ches-Mont National) .

“They were just so quick and moved the ball so well,’ Great Valley coach Claire Emplitt said of the Cougars. “They just plain beat us. That’s a very skilled team.’

Kathryn Scheerer kicked off the scoring at the 20:56 mark, taking a pass from Jenna Davison and depositing it in the back of the cage. Seconds later, the Cougars struck again, this time with Isuru Amarasekera assisting on a goal from Cassie Hunter.

Shaking off an early season injury that relegated her to being a scorekeeper on the sidelines, Hunter scored for the third time in three games, despite limited playing time.

“I’m feeling better every game,’ said Hunter. “It’s coming back quickly.’

The Cougars also got goals from Amarasekera, Laura Dutzman—who also had an assist—and Claire Webb.

“We’ve all been playing together for a really long time and know each other so well,’ said Webb. “We had really good connecting passes today, staying in our lanes, working it up the sidelines and back to the middle. This was a total team effort. No one played with any selfishness, and that showed in our passing and in the score at the end.’

Defensively, the Cougars were aggressive and stingy, allowing just one shot on goal — a breakaway by Mia Tornetta that was stopped by a diving Laura Narcum. Great Valley didn’t force a single penalty corner in the contest.

“We all wanted to come out as strong as we could,’ said Hunter. “The defense did a really good job of channeling the ball to the outside. We’re playing really well as a team right now.’

Up next for the Cougars is a showdown with Unionville on Tuesday, and they are feeling good about the way they are playing right now.

“The great thing with our team is that we do have so many different players that can score and don’t have to rely on any one player,’ said Bullock. “We’re scoring out of quick transitions, on corners, and just have a bunch of players that can put it in the cage. Hopefully we’ll keep it going against Unionville.’

The Patriots, meanwhile, are 6-3 in the league, 9-6 overall, and still feel they can make a push at a district playoff slot.

“We just have to take that step up to the next level,’ said Emplitt. “We need to start finding our players. We’re receiving the ball, and not finding our players. We’re in a bit of a rut with our offense. We need to step it up, working our passes a little quicker, a little harder, and start putting the ball in the cage.’

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