UPPER DUBLIN >> It took Plymouth Whitemarsh 18 minutes to find the back of the cage against Upper Dublin Wednesday afternoon, but once the team scored its first goal the offense found its rhythm.
The Colonials (3-0) scored four goals over a 10:03 stretch in the second quarter to take control of the game and cruised to a 7-0 Suburban One League Liberty Division win over the Cardinals at Upper Dublin High School.
The 2019 District 1-3A runner-ups dominated the first quarter – putting four shots on goal and earning four corners –but had nothing to show for it. Senior Ava Borkowski changed that three minutes into the second quarter.
“When we came in after the first quarter we really talked about needing to get our passes off sooner – our free hits and everything,” Borkowski, who finished the game with three goals, said. “We were doing too much dribbling and every time we dribbled to the middle there were multiple girls who came and crashed on us. We really worked on using the outside passes and tracking towards the middle and really looking up and seeing the whole field and where the defenders were. (Upper Dublin) did a really good job of stopping our shots in the beginning – we didn’t get a lot off in the first quarter. Once we are at the top of the circle and get in there, it’s our goal to just shoot from the top.”
The defending Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Player of the Year scored her second goal four minutes later, grabbing her own rebound, giving herself space and lifting the ball into the cage to double PW’s lead to 2-0.
Molly Lynch made it 3-0 a couple minutes later. Hailey Copestick inserted a penalty corner and Carly McGee passed the ball Lynch. Lynch lost the ball for a moment, but regained control and ripped a shot from the edge of the circle into the cage.
Alexa DeLucca scored the fourth and final goal of the second quarter, tipping in a pass from Kaleigh Missimer.
“I was pleased with how we hung in there in the first quarter and kept the scoreboard even,” Upper Dublin coach Heather Boyer said after crediting how strong and established PW’s field hockey program is. “Against a team like that, eventually they’re going to find weaknesses and capitalize on them, which they did, but to our girls credit they kept the intensity and the effort the entire four quarters.”
Borkowski completed her hat trick early in the third quarter with a reverse hit and Missimer extended the lead to 6-0 in the final 10 seconds of the third when Copestick set her up on a penalty corner.
The final goal of the game came late in the fourth when Missimer found Lynch off of a corner.
In all, PW scored three goals on 14 corners. Borkowski said the team has done well with corners this year, but it’s something they’re always working on.
“Our corners we could definitely execute more,” she said of any weaknesses through the first three games of the season. “We are very good at earning our corners, just executing on them more.”
The standout player for the Cardinals (2-1) was goalie Dara Fishman. She made 20 saves in the game and her aggressiveness leaving the cage prevented a handful of additional scoring opportunities.
“Dara did a really good job,” Boyer said. “This is her first year as goalie. She was a field player for her first two years and decided to make the transition last year. She played a season of indoor with the Souderton Strikers and got really good training there. She really had great composure and good poise against a very talented PW team that’s relentless. They have numerous players that can shoot the ball well, hard and they’re very aggressive. To be able to manage as many shots as she did and turn away a number of them – that’s a good thing.”