MALVERN—Without question, Mt St. Joe’s and Villa Maria have a pretty good rivalry in field hockey. Every game is tight, and fraught with implications in the AACA, and District 1, AA as a whole. Unfortunately for the Magic, the rivalry has been a bit one-sided, with Villa usually coming out on top.
But when Duke-commit Megan Maransky beat the Villa goalie one-on-one in overtime, the Magic (4-1) picked up a 2-1 victory, the first in at least six years over the Hurricanes (4-1).
“The moment I saw Erin McGinley intercept the ball, I knew we were going to have a chance,” said Maransky, a junior. “I just took the pass and fired away. I knew when it left my stick we were finally getting the win over the Hurricanes. My sister graduated last year and never beat them, and my older sister before that—it has probably been ten years. It just feels amazing.”
Villa, who came into the contest unbeaten at 4-0 and having outscored opponents 25-0, opened the scoring midway through the first when Meghan Dillon broke through with a goal. Mount St Joe’s had a few opportunities in the first half, but didn’t even force a corner until it was nearly halftime.
“This was really our first big test,” said Villa coach Katie Evans. “The league is always tough, but it seems like this year it’s a lot more even at the top.”
Coming out of the break, the skies opened up and the remainder of the game was played in a torrential downpour, making footing, and simple vision, difficult.
The Hurricanes stepped up the offensive attack, forcing several corners over the next few minutes, but the Magic defense, anchored by goalie Alyssa Brachelli, deftly cleared the fiercest offensive push Villa had to offer.
“Whenever they came in, we just cleared the ball so well,” said Brachelli. “We just had a tough loss (to Merion Mercy) where we didn’t do it so well, so to come back and have this kind of game against Villa means so much.”
Still trailing 1-0 and with the clock ticking down to almost the ten minute mark, the Magic were awarded a corner try, and made the most of it, with Rory Williamson depositing the equalizer at the 10:12 mark.
“It isn’t easy taking a tough loss like we did to Merion Mercy Tuesday and have to turn right around and have to face Villa,” said Magic coach Sue Wentzel. “Our passing game was on all day, and it enabled us to just finish and get the win.”
Villa won’t have time to get dwell on the loss. They will simply have to learn from mistakes and otherwise put this game in the rearview mirror. Merion Mercy, still unbeaten at 5-0, looms Saturday.
“It’s their homecoming, so I’m sure they will all be up for the game,” said Evans. “I never want to lose, but at least we are learning now what we need to work on, and have another game Saturday. I’d rather figure these things out now than come playoff time and it’s one-and-done.”
Mount St. Joseph 0 1 1—2
Villa Maria 1 0 0—1
Mount St Joe’s—Williamson, Maransky
Goalie Saves (unavailable)