Mayer’s hat trick paces Lower Moreland past Bristol

LOWER MORELAND >> If there’s one thing the Lower Moreland field hockey team has been after this season, it’s a consistent effort for 60 minutes.

The Lions took a step toward that Wednesday in a 5-0 victory against visiting Bristol. While the team stood to put away a couple more of its chances, Lower Moreland played strong from whistle to whistle.

Sophomore Jamie Mayer led the way with a hat trick and assist as the Lions continued to pressure after halftime.

“We’ve been working as a team on playing a consistent 60 minutes,” Lions coach Danielle Klein said. “We’ll have moment of doing really nice things and moments of play where we need some work. It was nice to see a full game with 60 minutes of work with everybody hustling and playing well.”

The first half absolutely belonged to Lower Moreland (3-4, 3-4 Bicentennial Athletic League), but it took a while for the Lions to gain anything out of it. Spending much of the period attacking the Bristol (1-7, 1-7 BAL) cage, Lower Moreland wasn’t able to put much into the cage.

The Lions held a 10-0 advantage in shots to start the game, but every shot was either saved or blocked. While the chances were plentiful, Lower Moreland couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Then just as Bristol flashed signs of life, things broke for the Lions.

Midfielder Stevie Goldman tracked all the way back to win the ball from Bristol, stopping the Warriors’ first real foray up the field. Goldman got the ball to Jamie Mayer, who did the rest, carrying the ball up the field and striking a dart from just inside the circle for a goal with 19:32 left in the frame.

“We just have to keep pushing,” Mayer said. “It’s hard when you’re playing a relatively good team. We have to keep working on finishing and just capitalize.”

Bristol had a few chances right after the goal but the Warriors’ surge was short-lived. Lower Moreland came right back with Mayer and Olivia Succi having chances denied.

The Lions’ sixth corner provided another marker when Emily Ciolko played a perfect insert to Mayer at the top of the circle. Mayer, who had been denied a few times from that spot, hammered home a strong shot for the 2-0 lead with 8:00 remaining.

“When our inserts are really nice from Emily, it’s easy to get that shot off,” Mayer said. “We just have to work on looking up and going to space, not just toward the goal.”

Bristol nearly stole some momentum right back, but an infraction in the circle pulled back a goal.

At the half Klein told her team that while it was playing well, she wanted to see the Lions keep doing that and score a few more. Mayer answered the call less than four minutes into the period with another solo effort.

The sophomore attacker was able to dribble into the circle and lofted a shot that went into the cage, a crafty ploy to beat Bristol’s goalie who was strong playing shots on the ground.

About three minutes after putting the hat on her trick, Mayer made sure the effort wouldn’t relent with an on-point pass to Kasey Duffey, who then drilled the ball into the goal.

“We’re happy with anyone that’s scoring goals,” Klein said. “Jamie’s definitely someone who knows how to finish but it’s always nice when other people can contribute as well.”

Erin Przybylinski finished off the scoring with 14:10 left when took a pass from Gianna Venafra in front of the cage and pushed it past the keeper for the 5-0 lead and running clock.

Mayer noted the way the Lions passed the ball all game against Bristol. From the backs through the midfield and up into the circle, Lower Moreland’s ability to move the ball created most of its 23 shots on goal.

“We were getting to the spaces on the field, getting out wide and passing right instead of continually passing left where everyone was,” Mayer said. “We were communicating.”

Now midway through their schedule, the Lions will look continue efforts like Tuesday’s as they play through the BAL schedule.

“We just have to keep playing the full second half,” Mayer said. “The second half has been our downfall in some of our past games. For our league games, we just have to work on playing the full game even if we’re down and getting back up and scoring.”

Top Photo: Jamie Mayer (36) scored three goals as Lower Moreland earned a 5-0 win over Bristol on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (Submitted Photo)

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