Rad­nor halts Phan­toms’ run in play­backs

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Terry Toohey ttoohey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ter­ryToohey on Twit­ter

Be­ing shut out for the first time in 15 games and only the sec­ond time this sea­son did not sit well with Rad­nor. Get­ting dumped into the play­back por­tion of the District 1 Class 2A field hockey tour­na­ment wasn’t ideal, ei­ther.

Yet that was the hand the topseeded Raiders were dealt and the one thing Rad­nor coach Katie Maguire wanted to see was how her team would re­spond.

She didn’t have to wait long for an an­swer.

Olivia Shea and Brigid Lowry scored in the first 5 min­utes, 18 sec­onds and that fast start pow­ered Rad­nor to a 7-3 vic­tory over fifth-seeded Phoenixville Tues­day af­ter­noon at Encke Field.

The win earned the Raiders (16-4) an­other home date, this time on Fri­day for the fifth and fi­nal PIAA berth from District 1 against sixth-seeded Gwynedd Mercy, a 6-2 win­ner over No. 7 Bishop Shana­han. Start­ing time has yet to be de­ter­mined.

“Our team does bet­ter when we score first,” Shea said. “In our last game we got beat in the first half and it def­i­nitely put us down. To­day, we were more to­gether as a team.”

The Raiders went on to score five times in the first half to hold off the feisty Phan­toms (15-5-1). Shea had two of her three goals in the open­ing 30 min­utes. Page Lowry also scored twice in the first half and Barb Civitella had four as­sists. Rad­nor also had a goal dis­al­lowed.

“When we get in the cir­cle in the first two min­utes, we want to score,” Lowry said. “And af­ter we score one goal we want to score in the next two min­utes.”

Shea scored three min­utes into the game and it would be an­other 2:18 be­fore Brigid Lowry made it 2-zip, but it did set the tone for the rest of the game.

“(Be­ing shut out) in the last game took a toll on a lot of us,” Shea said. “We had been win­ning a lot of games (15 in a row) and that loss was hum­bling. I think we’re go­ing to do bet­ter from here.”

Phoenixvlle would not go qui­etly. The Phan­toms cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Ameerah Green and 4-2 on the first of two goals from Kather­ine Baker. How­ever, that was not enough to top­ple the de­ter­mined Raiders.

“We wanted to be ag­gres­sive and we wanted to be hun­gry to­day,” Phoenixville coach Claire Em­plit said. “And I saw that hunger from them. We just came up short. We had some op­por­tu­ni­ties in our cir­cle and when you’re at this level this far into the sea­son, teams will cap­i­tal­ize on your mis­takes. If you don’t take ad­van­tage of every op­por­tu­nity you have and the other team does, it’s dif­fi­cult to win.”

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