Dunn scores twice as Elkton field hockey shut outs Perryville
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.”