H-town field hockey blanked

Ben­gals take 3A South fi­nal by 1-0 mar­gin

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

SIL­VER SPRING — In the mo­ments af­ter see­ing her team fall 1-0 ver­sus Blake High School in the Class 3A South Re­gion field hockey cham­pi­onship game on Wed­nes­day evening, Hunt­ing­town High School head coach Shan­non Per­setic al­ready had an op­ti­mistic eye on the fu­ture.

Hunt­ing­town (11-4 over­all) gen­er­ated few of­fen­sive at­tacks and Blake’s tal­ented se­nior trio of Ni­cole Kid­wiler, Sab­rina Simp­son and Ava Ed- wards kept Hur­ri­canes se­nior goalie Me­gan Cof­fren (11 saves) busy through­out the con­test. Ed­wards would tally the game’s only goal with just over six min­utes re­main­ing in the first half.

But while the Ben­gals con­trolled play thanks to their se­nior cap­tains, all of whom have played since they were fresh­men and con­cur­rently as mem­bers of the Howard [County] Warhawks, Hunt­ing­town’s youth­ful skill play­ers Emma Pike, Alexa Zeruto and Kenly Zeruto of­fered Per­setic a glimpse into the fu­ture.

“We lose 10 se­niors,

in­clud­ing Me­gan and Cal­lie and Ash­lyn Hil­gen­berg, but we’re a very young team,” Per­setic said. “We had five sopho­mores and fresh­men start­ing and we have a lot of tal­ented play­ers on ju­nior var­sity who can step right up next year. Ten years ago no one knew about Hunt­ing­town field hockey. They called us Hunt­ing­ton. But our pro­gram is go­ing to be good for sev­eral years to come be­cause we have a wave of tal­ented play­ers

com­ing up be­hind this group.”

Blake, which ad­vanced to play Mon­day in the 3A state semi­fi­nals ver­sus Ch­e­sa­peake of Anne Arun­del County at Paint Branch High School in Mont­gomery County, dom­i­nated the first half thanks to its se­niors and ju­nior Jor­dan Pack, whose line drives eas­ily trav­eled 40 yards. Af­ter two po­ten­tial Blake goals were waved off by the of­fi­cials for vary­ing vi­o­la­tions, Ed­wards de­liv­ered the game’s only goal when she back­handed a shot past Cof­fren late in the first half.

“I prac­tice that shot a lot,” Ed-

wards said. “But it usu­ally does end where I want it. Tonight, I just turned and back­handed it and it went by the goalie and into the box. I’m ex­cited to be go­ing back to state semis for a se­cond straight year. This is my se­nior year and my last chance to win a title. Hunt­ing­town beat us in the re­gion fi­nal two years ago, so this was even more spe­cial.”

Pack’s long drives en­abled Kid­wiler and Simp­son to main­tain pos­ses­sions on the Hunt­ing­town end through­out most of the first half and again in the se­cond half. The Ben­gals had

seven penalty cor­ner chances in the se­cond half, with Kid­wiler send­ing the ball to­ward Simp­son, Ed­wards and Pack for good chances that ei­ther sailed wide or high or were kicked aside by Cof­fren.

“I thought we did a good job con­trol­ling pos­ses­sions in the first half,” Blake coach Patrick How­ley said. “We prob­a­bly had 20 good chances tonight. We didn’t fin­ish most of them and their goalie made some tough saves. But our se­nior cap­tains re­ally have done a great job lead­ing this en­tire group. They know this is their last chance

to win a state title and they’ve been work­ing hard to get it.”

Hunt­ing­town was pri­mar­ily on the de­fen­sive through­out most of the con­test, but Per­setic took her fi­nal time­out with just over two min­utes re­main­ing and urged her team to fin­ish on a strong note. The Hur­ri­canes re­sponded with their best at­tack of the night as Cal­lie Hil­gen­berg de­liv­ered a stel­lar cross to­ward sis­ter Ash­lyn Hil­gen­berg that some­how man­aged to slip through the crease with­out be­ing tipped into the box for the ty­ing goal.

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