OXFORD >> The Unionville field hockey team could ill afford to look past Oxford Monday afternoon.
While the Indians are unbeaten in the Ches-Mont League, the Hornets were nipping at their heels. Playing on the lush grass at Oxford could prove tricky for a speedy turf team like Unionville.
Though it took a little while for Unionville to get rolling, in the end the Indians, paced by a hat trick from Erin Matson, proved too much for Oxford, and walked off the field with a 4-0 victory.
“We’re looking forward to our upcoming games with Conestoga and Downingtown East,” said Matson, who leads the county in scoring. “But we are definitely taking things one game at a time, and we knew this could be a tough game.”
The Hornets controlled possession for much of the first half, as the Indians tried to figure out its passing game, and forced the first three penalty corners of the game before the momentum started to swing back toward the Indians.
“We’re a turf team and we’ve always been a turf team,” said Unionville back Kelly Denton. “So we knew we were going to have to play as a team and keep them out of the net while we were finding our way on grass. We knew we were going to have to function as a unit and eventually we were going to get one in.”
Matson finally broke through for her first goal with 5:14 left in the first half, taking a pass from Katie Anderson and depositing it in the back of the cage. Matson struck again just before the break with a bullet in a crowd with 17 seconds left in the half to make it 2-0 heading into halftime.
“We played on grass a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t like this,” said Matson. “It took us a little while to find our passes and start making them, but once we did, we found a rhythm.”
Unionville wasted little time in putting the game away in the second half, scoring two goals in quick succession in the first four minutes after the break. The first came from Claire Donovan with an assist from Annie McDonough at 28:26, then Matson rattled the back of the cage for the third time just two minutes later.
“The girls did a great job making adjustments and fighting for every ball,” said Unionville coach Erin Curtis. “And that’s what we needed to win today. We’ve been playing awesome lately, but we’re just going to keep taking things one game at a time. We’ve played some great competition this season, and we’re all really looking forward to the next part of the year.”
Unionville is currently sitting second in the District 1 Class AAA power rankings, barely half a point behind Downingtown East, who the Indians will play Monday.
“I was hoping we’d be as good this year as we were last year,” said Denton. “We’re a really young team, but this team is proving we can play. I’m really happy with how well we’re playing.”
Oxford, meanwhile, is still in line for a playoff berth, currently seeded 15th.
“It’s the small pieces of the puzzle we’ve got to put together,” said Oxford coach Anne Marie Anderson. “We held them in check for almost the whole first half, and I think a bit of the wind came out of the sails when they scored. But we just have to keep pushing hard, and find those last small pieces to the puzzle and we’ll be just fine.”
Unionville 4, Oxford 0
Unionville 2 2 –4
Oxford 0 0 –0
Unionville goals: Matson 3, Donovan
Goalie saves: Gaebel (U) 6, Hubley (O) 6.