Northern field hockey opens with win
Patriots handle Eagles in field hockey opener
Despite her best efforts, Northern’s Callie Heim just couldn’t find a way to put a shot in the goal through her team’s preseason scrimmages.
That proved to be be of no issue when the Patriots opened their regular season against the visiting North Point Eagles on Tuesday afternoon.
Heim registered a hat trick to help the hosts take command in what ended a 6-1 Northern win in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision matchup.
“Today was definitely a good game for me,” Heim said. “I’m trying to score a lot this season. It’s my senior season. I’m trying to make it my best.”
Northern (1-0 overall) took early control on Zoey Masters’ goal roughly eight minutes into the game. Her initial tally was followed by Heim’s first two goals of the season to build the hosts’ lead to 3-0 by the half.
The Patriots remained on the attack in the second half, with Heim’s third goal followed shortly thereafter by a Brooke Miller goal. Miller added another to increase Northern’s lead to 6-0. North Point eventually broke up the Patriots’ shutout aspirations when Nicole Wilburn converted a penalty stroke in the latter stages of the second half.
All in all, Northern head coach Nicole Kerfoot thought it was a positive first game for her squad.
“It was a great start. The
girls worked well moving the ball up the field, transitioned well,” she said. “It was a nice good start. We had a lot of shots on goal. Their goalie [Olivia Bell] is great. Luckily we got six to go through. It was a good start.”
Northern enters the year with a rather experienced group, with a large group of seniors leading the way. While the group will be counted on to lead the team as it progresses through the season, it also has played a role in fortifying the junior varsity squad, according to Kerfoot.
“We have nine seniors this year, so we have a good, strong group coming in here,” Kerfoot said. Her team is next scheduled to play at Thomas Stone at 4 p.m. Tuesday. “They’ve all played together for the last four years, so they know each other well. They know where each one’s going to be on the field, so that’s a great help. They’ve been helpful in getting our JV program back on track. We had 15 new players this year, three returners for JV, so they’re definitely helping our JV players get on the ball.”
Traveling over to Calvert County to open the season against a typically strong Northern team wasn’t the easiest way for North Point (0- 1) to open its campaign. It was a trip that Eagles head coach Sandra Fair hoped would be educational, though.
“It’s a hard game for the first game of the season,” Fair said. Her team is next scheduled to play at Calvert at 4 p.m. Monday. “We’ll take away a lot from it, learn from it. That was a great stroke [on Wilburn’s goal].”
For Heim, the opening game offered a glimpse at what she hopes the Patriots can be in the year to come. She views the team’s communication as vital in it ultimately realizing the goals it has for the season.
“I think definitely com- munication between the midfield and the forwards,” she said. “The communication between the two is really key because our passes are what get us goals. ... I think this is a great start to our season. I think it’s a precursor of what’s to come.”
Northern’s Callie Heim attempts to advance the ball past North Point’s Amelda Nicholson during the teams’ game at Northern on Tuesday afternoon. Heim scored three goals to lead Northern to a 6-1 win.
Northern’s Zoey Masters works the ball down the field early in the Patriots’ game against the visiting North Point Eagles on Tuesday afternoon. Masters scored the Patriots’ first goal in what ended a 6-1 Patriots’ win.