Dunn scores twice as Elk­ton field hockey shut outs Per­ryville

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - By KEVIN PHILLIPS Special to the Whig

ELK­TON — Both the Elk­ton and Per­ryville field hockey teams stepped on the field with young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced line­ups Fri­day for their non-di­vi­sional tilt on the grounds of Elk­ton Mid­dle School.

While they fea­tured youth up and down the ros­ter, the Golden Elks did re­turn some ex­pe­ri­ence this sea­son, which aided on the de­fen­sive end and re­sult- ed in the game’s only goals.

The Elks with­stood a late surge to main­tain the lead and used a pair of goals from reign­ing All-County Player of the Year Vanessa Dunn to edge the vis­it­ing Pan­thers 2-0.

“We just started to gel to­gether. We have a lot of new girls. It took them a lit­tle time to get ac­cli­mated to play­ing,” Elk­ton as­sis­tant coach Valarie Glase said. “Once we put Han­nah Moore back in the mid­field, she re­ally an­chors the mid- field, so that re­ally helped us a lot with our speed and get­ting the ball up the field.”

Per­ryville (0-2) con­trolled pos­ses­sion for most of the early stages of the game, tak­ing ad­van­tage of a Golden Elks of­fense that ap­peared stag­nant.

De­spite its strug­gles, how­ever, Elk­ton (1-0) scored mid­way through the first half off of a penalty cor­ner. Af­ter a pair of passes, the ball found the stick of Dunn, who rock­eted a shot from the top of the penalty cir­cle and into the back of the cage to break the score­less tie.

The scored re­mained 1-0 un­til the fifth minute of the sec­ond half when Dunn forced a turnover, took a step and de­posited a lon­granged shot into the cage to dou­ble the Golden Elks’ ad­van­tage.

Af­ter­wards, the Elk­ton se­nior for­ward cred­ited prac­tice for her team’s abil­ity to cap­i­tal­ize on the lim­ited chances.

“I know in prac­tice we’ve been work­ing on ur­gency. I heard my coach say that we have a lot of be­gin­ners, so we’re work­ing on ur­gency and help­ing with con­fi­dence,” Dunn said. “We have a re­ally good group, who work well with each other.”

Per­ryville con­trolled the lat­ter stages of the game, gen­er­at­ing seven cor­ners over the last 10 min­utes. But each time, the Golden Elk de­fense knew what to do and did just enough to cor­ral the Pan­thers’ of­fense.

“The de­fense has re­ally stepped up. We have been work­ing a lot on the ba­sics in prac­tice,” Glase said. “We have a lot of be­gin­ners, so our up­per­class­men were re­ally help­ing to an­chor our de­fense and help our new girls with their de­fense.”

Even though they fell to Elk­ton, there were long stretches in which the Pan­thers ap­peared to be play­ing bet­ter than their op­po­nent. How­ever, due to their in­ex­pe­ri­ence, they weren’t able to cap­i­tal­ize on their scor­ing chances.

“I think our girls played with heart and played as a team. They were ready to win and wanted to win. Young play­ers need to learn how to shoot the ball well and how work to­gether in­side the of­fen­sive cir­cle, and that’s go­ing to take time to play to­gether, get­ting to know each other, read­ing each other and work­ing as unit,” Per­ryville coach Erin Ham­son said. “They’re go­ing to get there and they’re go­ing to do that.”

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