After winning the first match-up 1-0, Upper Moreland hosted Springfield in a crucial Suburban One American Conference field hockey faceoff as the teams entered separated by just one game in the conference. The result from the first game stood true in the second as the Lions downed the Spartans 1-0.
“I think we wanted to play well,’ Springfield coach Linda Nixon said of her teams mind set entering the key game.
Upper Moreland controlled the first half of the game although it was unable to convert it into goal or even many quality chances. The Lions were able to continue their momentum early in the second half as Jess Flanagan scored on an assist from Delany Smith.
“We had a great first half, second half fortunately we came in and got that goal but Springfield really wanted it,’ Upper Moreland coach Karen Grossi.
After the Lions put in their goal about five minutes into the half, Springfield went on the offensive, putting pressure on the Upper Moreland defense.
“We just did not start well,’ Nixon said. “It did not help that we were four different times playing shorthanded.’
The pressure of the Spartans offense led to them getting 11 second-half corner opportunities to just three for the Lions.
“It was very disappointing that we gave up that many corners,’ Grossi said. “It was disappointing that the last 25 minutes was dominated by Springfield.’
Springfield now moves to 7-4 in the American Conference with two of the losses by a margin of two goals to the Lions, proving the two teams pose a formidable threat to each other.
“In both games we lost by a goal because we did not play with enough heart,’ Nixon said.
For Upper Moreland, three league games remain and with the Lions currently holding the second place tie break with good position to hold on it. The season sweep of the Spartans should also provide a good morale boost for the home stretch as well.
“It’s great,’ Grossi said. “We were able to beat them the first time and that was exciting because we haven’t done that in years but to do it more than once it wasn’t just a fluke.’