Elk­ton snaps decade-long los­ing streak to Per­ryville

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Re­nee Dunn’s first game as head coach of the Elk­ton field hockey team turned out to be a mem­o­rable one.

Ju­nior Ni­cole Baldino scored on an as­sist from ju­nior Vanessa Dunn just three minutes into the con­test and the Golden Elks held on to edge host Per­ryville 1-0 in non-di­vi­sional ac­tion on Fri­day.

The sea­son-open­ing vic­tory marked the Elks’ first win over the Pan­thers since a 3-0 tri­umph on Oct. 16, 2006.

“We knew, ob­vi­ously, that Per­ryville is a huge threat and they’re a re­ally good team. They fought us tooth and nail the whole game,” Dunn said. “It’s huge, es­pe­cially be­cause it’s the first game of the sea­son. Hope­fully we can carry the mo­men­tum into

PER­RYVILLE

the rest of the sea­son.”

The Pan­thers took the field for the first time since fall­ing to Pat­ter­son Mill, 1-0, in over­time dur­ing last year’s 1A North Re­gion Fi­nal.

“Since I was a fresh­man and since the se­niors were fresh­men and since we were kids and played scrim­mages against them, we have never beat Per­ryville. So this is a huge win for us,” Baldino said. “They are a great team.”

Po­si­tioned near the post, Baldino took a feed from Dunn and beat Pan­thers keeper Mada­lyn Wilkinson, mak­ing her first start in net fol­low­ing the grad­u­a­tion of All-County goalie La­cie Flores. It marked one of the few times all game the Elk­ton (1-0) of­fense pushed deep into Per­ryville ter­ri­tory.

“We’ve re­ally been work­ing a lot on that play in prac- tice so it felt amaz­ing to get it down and get it in,” Dunn said. “It gave us mo­ti­va­tion and the hunger to keep go­ing. Get­ting up early on them, it gave us fuel.”

Fri­day also marked Per- ryville’s first loss to a Ce­cil County op­po­nent since 2014 against North East.

“It’s tough [to go down early] be­cause we didn’t feel like it was nec­es­sar­ily the most earned goal. It sur­prised us a lit­tle bit and I think it sur­prised Elk­ton a lit­tle bit, but their de­fense showed up and held it for them to give them the edge in the game,” first-year Pan­thers coach Erin Ham­son said. “It’s a lit­tle bit­ter taste in our mouth for that first game to be a loss.”

Per­ryville (0-1) re­sponded with eight to­tal cor­ners in the con­test, but an in­abil­ity to take advantage of sec­ond chances, cou­pled with strong play from Elk­ton ju­nior goalie Fal­lon Katz, pre­vented the host squad from find­ing the score­board.

Katz ended the con­test with eight saves.

“They’re de­fense showed up and they were con­sis­tent and didn’t re­lent. Our of­fense didn’t re­lent un­til were in the cir­cle, Ham­son said. “We had great first shots on goal … but we had a ten­dency to lay off on our sec­ond shot con­sis­tently, over and over and over again.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

Elk­ton ju­nior Vanessa Dunn, left, bat­tles a pair of Per­ryville de­fend­ers dur­ing the Golden Elks’ 1-0 vic­tory over the host Pan­thers in non-di­vi­sional field hockey ac­tion on Fri­day.

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