UPPER DUBLIN >> The way Wissahickon field hockey’s offense has been playing so far this season even an unintentional pass ends up leading to a goal.
When the ball rolled slightly out of Sophia Havrilla’s reach after cutting past an Upper Dublin defender, Caroline Kirkpatrick was in the right position to take over the run, find room on the right side of the circle and unleash a shot that found the back of cage with 5:14 left in the first quarter.
“She was going out and the ball went too far so I kind of took it and she took my space so we kind of switched,” Kirkpatrick said. “That was a really great use of communication.”
Kirkpatrick struck for the SOL Liberty Division’s opening tally while Havrilla following by striking twice in the second quarter to put visiting Wissahickon up 3-0 at halftime. The Trojans tacked on three more goals in the third and stayed undefeated with a 6-0 victory over the Cardinals Thursday afternoon.
“We kind of are clicking a lot this year especially with our passes,” Kirkpatrick said. “Last year it felt like we dribbled a lot down the center of the field and this year we really spread the field and made a lot of connections with our forwards and transfers in the back.”
Kirkpatrick joined Havrilla in collecting a pair of goals in the contest, scoring on a penalty corner in the third while Kendall Crowley and Aiden Drabick also added goal in the quarter as the Trojans improved to 5-0-0 (4-0-0 division).
“I think this year we came out a lot stronger than we were actually planning to,” Kirkpatrick said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year but we gained Aiden and we’ve come out really strong and we’ve been able to fill in our defense and a lot of people have stepped up into their role.”
Drabick – a senior who transferred from Great Valley and has committed to Temple – has helped Wissahickon outscore its first five opponents 30-1, the Trojans registering at least six goals four times.
“We’ve been working together as a team and I think that’s what really been the difference from last year to this year,” Havrilla said. “In the second half we had a lot of good passing sequences which really helped contribute to more goal-scoring opportunities, which is good.”
For Upper Dublin (2-2-0, 2-2-0), it was a tough two days, falling 7-0 Wednesday to Plymouth Whitemarsh, last year’s District 1-3A runner-up. then losing to Wissahickon for the third consecutive time..
“We had a tough schedule this week,” Cardinals coach Heather Boyer said. “But they’re two good teams, I knew we were going to get tested, we needed to get better. And that’s OK.”
The Trojans visit fellow unbeaten PW 3:30 p.m. Monday. The Colonials extended their Suburban One League conference/division win streak to 71 games by beating Abington 12-2 Thursday.
“They are definitely our biggest competitor,” said Havrill of PW. “And so we know the ability that we can play to and we can play to their level, we just have to be able to do that when play them and we can’t play down to them and we can’t play below our level which is going to really important but it’s definitely going to be a good game and I think we can win.”
Upper Dublin’s next plays at Hatboro-Horsham 4 p.m. Monday.
After Kirkpatrick posted the lone goal of Thursday’s first quarter, Havrilla doubled the Trojans’ lead on a turnaround shot from the middle of the circle at 8:39 in the second quarter.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Havrilla said.
Havrilla proceeded to make it 3-0 on Wissahickon’s 11th corner of the half. Ella Hummel knocked the ball towards the right post to Havrilla, who had her first shot denied by the goalkeeper but collected the rebound and slotted a shot inside the near post at 6:01
“On the second one, I knew (Wissahickon coach Lucy) Gil told us, always tells us forwards to stay on the post,” Havrilla said. “So the first time I hit it on the goalie’s pads but on then I pulled right and I saw the opportunity, saw she was a little to the left so I just shot right.”
Wissahickon looked to have claimed a 4-0 lead in the first half’s final seconds on Drabick’s long-range lifted shot on a corner but the effort was ruled to have come outside the circle and the margin stayed three.
The Trojans, however, collected a fourth goal early in the third on a corner as Kirkpatrick scored her second thanks to a deflection at 13:26.
“It meant to cross the circle but it hit off, I think, someone’s stick and then went into the goal,” Kirkpatrick said.
Wissahickon converted on another corner for a 5-0 lead at 5:59 in the third, Kate Lovensheimer sending a ball to the front of the cage where Crowley was waiting to one-timed it in.
“When you give good team with quick sticks too many opportunities in the circle with corners, they’re going to score,” Boyer said. “And Wissahickon has always been very good with executing corners and they did exactly just that today. But they were faster to the ball than us, their sticks were really good and we didn’t respond well to it.”
Drabick made it 6-0 – a shot by Crowley was saved but the loose ball popped out to Drabick, who lifted a shot over a crowd and into the cage.