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Offense comes to life as Radnor field hockey gets first win

Radnor's Grace Bookbinder, left, fires on Haverford goalie Kailyn Distler on Tuesday. Radnor went on to a 5-2 victory. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

RADNOR — While being winless heading into the second full week of the field hockey season was not ideal for Radnor or Haverford, it wasn’t quite time for either team to push the panic button.

There would be plenty of time for the Raptors and Fords to turn things around.

“I told them it was going to take time to jell,” Radnor coach Katie Maguire said. “School is starting. There’s construction going on here, which is distracting so I knew it was going to come eventually. It definitely was too early to panic.”

Haverford coach Christa Taylor felt the same away.

Radnor’s Alex DeCain winds up to shoot against Haverford Tuesday. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

“We’re inexperienced team,” Taylor said. “They didn’t play together last year and they’re staying super positive on the sidelines and with each other in huddles, so I’m good. The only thing I’m upset about is when they score when time expires. That’s a mental letdown in my opinion that has to be coached out of them. That’s on me. That’s the only thing that I’m concerned about. Otherwise, I’m good.”

Radnor scored twice in the closing seconds of periods to pull out a 5-2 triumph over the Fords at Encke Field Tuesday afternoon. Gracie Bookbinder converted a pass from Alex DeCain as time expired in the third quarter, and Sarah Khalil scored with two seconds left in the game off a feed from Gracie Purcell.

Karis Mameniskis scored once in each half, DeCain added a goal and an assist and Purcell chipped in two assists.

But it was the play of seniors Riley Mazzalupi and Hope Delaney in midfield that helped the Raptors (1-1-1, 1-1 Central League) get their first win of the season.

That’s not a surprise. Maguire called the pair the center of the team. That was obvious by the way they worked together to control the pace of the game.

“We met freshman year and we’ve been playing club ball together since then with the WC Eagles,” said Mazzalupi, who assisted on Mameniskis’ first goal. “Freshman year I got pulled up to varsity and every time since then, in between drills, we’re always passing back and forth, hitting back and forth. When everyone else is taking their break we’re out shooting on the goalie, getting those extra touches in helped our connection on the field.”

The Fords (0-3, 0-1) did not go quietly. Ella VanLuvender scored with 2:54 to play in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 2-1. Victoria Madden put home a pass from Maura Quaile to make it 4-2 in the fourth, but the Fords would get no closer.

Radnor’s Riley Mazzalupi, left, and Haverford’s Reese Brennan vie for possession Tuesday. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

“I think, today, we’re starting to believe a little bit,” Taylor said. “The first two games were shutouts. We played Perk Valley and lost 3-0, and played Merion Mercy and lost 5-0. I think the girls were not super confident and then you score that first goal and you’re like, ‘OK, we can score.’ Then you score a second goal and you say, ‘All right, we can win.’ You take off two of the goals that were within 10 seconds of the period and it’s a closer game. We’re climbing the ladder.”

In other Central League action:

Harriton 5, Ridley 1 >> Maggie Finegan tallied four times to pace the Rams. Caitlyn Senkow scored for the Green Raiders and goalie Maddi Gordon made three saves.

Conestoga 6, Marple Newtown 0 >> Shae Wozniak showed the way for the Pioneers with two goals in the third quarter. Maria Kaltsidis made 10 saves in goal for the Tigers.

In the Del Val League:

Chichester 3, Academy Park 1 >> Ashley Harper found the back of the cage twice and Natalia Willoughby once for the Eagles.

In nonleague action:

Archbishop Carroll 4, Agnes Irwin 3 >> Shannon Wood scored three goals including the winner in the third quarter. Sienna Golden added on goal and one assist, while goalie Reilly McMenamin stopped 10 shots.

Lauren Derose scored all three goals for the Owls off assists from Lily Botta, Caroline Chisholm and Jackie Heinerichs. Sarah Davis made seven saves in goal.

Episcopal Academy 11, Lawrenceville 0 >> Ashley Sessa led the Churchwomen with four goals and one assist. Mia Garber had two goals and one assist, while Macy Szukics added one goal and one assist.

Cardinal O’Hara 7, Germantown Academy 2 >> Lexi Culp and Sofia Brown powered the Lions with two goals each. Kerryn Eife added one goal and one assist, while Sam Connelly and Mia Scarduzio pitched in with a goal each. Goalie Mackenzie Hand made 12 saves.

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