Schumacher heeds advice in Carroll’s field hockey win over O’Hara

CONSHOHOCKEN — On Archbishop Carroll’s first penalty corner Wednesday, junior Courtland Schumacher tried to control a pass from teammate Grace O’Neill and then finesse the ball into the circle.

It didn’t work.

The ball rolled off Schumacher’s stick, and by the time she was able to retrieve it, O’Hara’s defense was all over her. The Patriots were unable to get a shot on goal. Shortly after the play, Schumacher received some advice from sophomore Sienna Golden.

“I told her, ‘Courtland, just whip it in,” Golden said.

Schumacher’s willingness to heed her teammate’s advice and trust her powerful shot proved to be the difference in Carroll’s come-from-behind, 2-1, Catholic League field hockey victory over Cardinal O’Hara at the Proving Grounds.

Schumacher had a hand in both goals to help Patriots (5-3, 2-0 Catholic League) rally from a 1-0 halftime deficit, despite being two players down for 3 minutes, 39 seconds in the fourth quarter because of a pair of yellow cards.

Schumacher heard similar guidance from Carroll coach Christine Elisio after the third quarter on how to handle long hits.

“Just send it in,” Elisio said. “We do say a lot, don’t be selfish, just pass it. Don’t hold it on your stick too long. But sometimes, when you have a shot, you have to take it, and Courtland hits the ball very well.”

In the third quarter, Schumacher sent a blast off a corner from just outside the circle that Golden tipped home for the equalizer with 1:49 left in the period. Then, late in the fourth, Schumacher rifled another into the circle that Golden tipped to Shannon Wood, who put the ball home for the winner with 2:56 to play in regulation.

“I had trouble stopping the ball,” Schumacher said. “I was nervous, of course, but at the end of the day you just have to have confidence in yourself and your shot. I kept my head down, fired it in and Sienna was lucky enough to get a touch on it.”

Golden gave all the credit to Schumacher.

“Courtland put it in a perfect spot for me to put my stick down,” Golden said. “It was a quick, instant reaction. It was a textbook play.”

She used the same approach on the second goal. The Patriots were threatening but then the ball ended up near midfield. Schumacher controlled it, wound up and fired a shot that Golden was able to redirect to Woods, who put it home off the foot of an O’Hara defender.

“I don’t know how that happened,” Golden said. “It was the heat of the moment type of thing.”

“I just put my stick down where the ball was and it went in,” Wood added.

The Patriots would not have been in that position had it not been for goalie Reilly McMenaman, who came up with nine huge saves and kept the Lions (1-3, 0-1) off the scoreboard after Mia Scarduzio redirected a Kerryn Eife pass with 2:18 left in the first quarter.

Their composure was key, too. Carroll kept its cool during that nearly four-minute stretch when Megan Sheridan and Golden were on the sideline with yellow cards.

“We didn’t let the two cards get us down,” Golden said. “I’m proud of our team for that. The past couple of games we’ve got a little down on ourselves when we get a card.”

O’Hara coach Jenna Spaeder took a positive view after a tough loss. And there were many positives. The defense, led by Annie Welde, Rachel Fosbenner and Grace Atchison, was solid. They only allowed four shots on goal even though the Patriots finished with 10 penalty corners, nine in the second half.

“I can’t complain,” Spaeder said. “Carroll’s really good so we knew we were going to get a game like this. It’s tough to go undefeated in this league. We have 14 games left. We’re going to grow from here and we’re going to get better every day.”

In the Inter-Ac League:

Agnes Irwin 3, Springside Chestnut Hill 0 >> Laruen Derose collected one goal and one assist to lead the Owls. She fed Ariana Karalis for a 2-0 lead and tallied an unassisted goal to close out the scoring. Isabella Carlino put home a pass from Caroline Chisholm to open the scoring for AIS (2-2).

In the Central League Wednesday night:

Haverford 3, Penncrest 1 >> Morgan Elliott, Victoria Madden and Reese Brennan scored to help the Fords erase a 1-0 deficit for their first win of the season.

Elliott scored in the second quarter to tie the game. Madden deflected a pass from Maura Quaile in the third period to put Haverford in front and Brennan scored on a reverse flick to provide some insurance. Goalie Kailyn Distler made nine saves.

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