Elks shake off slow start to de­feat In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - By KEVIN PHILLIPS

Spe­cial to the Whig

— Even though Elk­ton dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion in the first half, it ap­peared out of sync. The speed of the turf at the Univer­sity of Delaware’s Rullo Sta­dium cre­ated a chal­lenge dur­ing its field hockey bat­tle with North East.

The Golden Elks gath­ered at half­time to talked it out. They played much bet­ter in the sec­ond half, lead­ing to a pair of Erin DePaul goals in their 2-0 Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion vic­tory over the In­di­ans Mon­day af­ter­noon.

“I think we came out re­ally flat. I don’t know what the at­mos­phere was like, but it wasn’t a pos­i­tive one. We kind of had a ‘Kum­baya’ and told our­selves that we had to pick it up

NE­WARK, DEL.

if wanted to keep our [un­de­feated] record, and if we wanted to win this game,” DePaul said. “North East put up a re­ally good fight, and we had to come back a lit­tle, I think, in the sec­ond half.”

When Elk­ton at­tempted passes in the first half, the ball went farther on the per­fectly flat sur­face at Rullo Sta­dium than it nor­mally would go on the hilly and bumpy sur­face at their home field. It took un­til the sec­ond half for the Golden Elks to get used to the speed.

“Our field has weeds, bumps and hills, and this one is per­fectly still. It’s like play­ing on con­crete,” DePaul added. “It def­i­nitely was a big ad­just­ment for a lot of the girls and ev­ery­one on the field.”

From the start of the sec­ond half, Elk­ton played on its at­tack­ing half and put strong pres­sure on the North East de­fense. That pres­sure paid off as the Golden Elks earned a penalty stroke 4:11 into the sec­ond half.

DePaul took the stroke and she rock­eted a shot that went about two feet in the air past the In­di­ans goal­tender and into the net to give Elk­ton a 1-0 lead.

The Golden Elks (10-0 over­all, 6-0 Susque­hanna) kept con­trol of the ball over the next 10 min­utes, even­tu­ally in­creas­ing their lead to 2-0 with 14:12 re­main­ing when DePaul de­posited a Mad­die Rzu­cidlo pass into to the cage.

North East (2-8, 1-4) ap­plied some of­fen­sive pres­sure in the fi­nal min­utes of the game, but Elk­ton’s de­fense held strong to pre­serve the shutout and con­tinue its un­de­feated streak to start the year, which is some­thing the Golden Elks are try­ing not to put too much stock into, even though they know they’re on a spe­cial run.

“We take it one game at a time. It’s not like one loss is go­ing to ruin the sea­son. We’ve still had one heck of a sea­son. We’re thank­ful for ev­ery win we do get,” Elk­ton coach Renee Dunn said. “Some­times, teams don’t show up, and we could be that team that doesn’t show up. We have to come to ev­ery game and play ev­ery sin­gle minute of ev­ery game.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY KEVIN PHILLIPS

Elk­ton’s Ke­mu­nto Okindo con­trols the ball while North East’s Maya Allen de­fends dur­ing the Golden Elks’ 2-0 Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion vic­tory Mon­day at the Univer­sity of Delaware.

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