La Plata field hockey ral­lies to top Stone

Meiser scores game-win­ning goal

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JOHN NISWANDER jniswan­der@somd­news.com

Mon­day, the La Plata War­riors hosted the Thomas Stone Cougars in a piv­otal South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence field hockey matchup of two un­beaten teams in the Po­tomac Di­vi­sion.

The two teams were dead­locked in an even bat­tle from the start. Nei­ther team could ad­vance the ball much past mid­field as both de­fenses were locked in.

No shots were reg­is­tered for roughly the first 10 min­utes of the game as both teams jock­eyed for pos­ses­sion to cre­ate an at­tack.

The Cougars were able to strike first and record the game’s first goal in the first half. The War­riors then scored twice, once in each half, and pre­vailed 2-1.

Af­ter a sus­tained at­tack, Stone’s Hal­lie Maloney snuck a shot past the La Plata de­fense and into the back of the cage roughly halfway through the first half.

La Plata (5-5 over­all, 5-0 SMAC Po­tomac) re­sponded by cre­at­ing a cou­ple penalty cor­ners and gen­er­at­ing more pos­ses­sion.

The Cougars (3-5, 2-1) fought hard to pro­tect their early lead go­ing into half­time, but the War­riors were able to find the back of the cage in the last three min­utes of the first half.

Ju­nior Madi­son Osakow­icz was able to find the ball in front of the Stone cage among a host of play­ers and knock it in for the ty­ing goal.

At half­time with the score tied at 1, La Plata head coach Pomie Rad­cliff knew what she needed to tell her team to earn

the win in the sec­ond half.

“I think the girls kept their sticks down and kind of cap­i­tal­ized on the sec­ond half with what we were work­ing on and what we talked to them dur­ing the half­time about what we wanted to do to try and get a score. So I am very proud, they def­i­nitely needed this one,” Rad­cliff said.

The mes­sage from Rad­cliff to her team was work­ing as La Plata con­trolled much more at­tack in the sec­ond half and were gen­er­at­ing scor­ing chances.

Their at­tack­ing ef­forts were re­warded when ju­nior Madi­son Meiser found the back of the cage for what ended up be­ing the game-win­ning goal with just about eight min­utes left to play.

Stone was able to cre­ate a cou­ple penalty cor­ners in the fi­nal min­utes of the game, but War­riors goalie Kelly Re­sendes with help from the La Plata de­fense pre­vented any late ty­ing goal.

Re­sendes fin­ished the game with five saves, while Cougars goalie Alexa Law­son fin­ished with three saves.

In the end, La Plata was able to hang on for a much-needed win as the sea­son nears a close.

“It was an ex­cit­ing win for us. It was a bat­tle, it def­i­nitely was. Both teams played I think a re­ally good game,” Rad­cliff said. “It was just up and down, up and down, so it was a very evenly matched game. The out­come could have gone any way.”

The War­riors hope to fin­ish out the sea­son strong and then shift their fo­cus to the post­sea­son. They are sched­uled to play at 4 p.m. to­day at McDonough.

“We have two more games for the reg­u­lar sea­son, so we are just look­ing to con­tinue to work our pass­ing, work as a team, and get through the reg­u­lar sea­son so then we can start think­ing about re­gion­als,” Rad­cliff said.

Stone head coach Re­becca El­bert was proud of her team’s ef­fort de­spite the fi­nal out­come.

“I think we played a re­ally hard game to­day. We came out and gave it all that we had. It has def­i­nitely been an emo­tional week for us, so I think com­ing out and giv­ing 120 per­cent is what we did to­day,” El­bert said.

The Cougars aim to fin­ish out the reg­u­lar sea­son strong and win their re­main­ing games.

“We are hop­ing to win out for the rest of the sea­son. We have four games left, so hope­fully we can come out and win all of those and end the sea­son on a good note,” El­bert said.

The Cougars are slated to play again at 5 p.m. Fri­day at St. Charles.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN NISWANDER

La Plata’s Kate­lyn Gor­don looks up­field dur­ing the first half of Mon­day’s 2-1 win over vis­it­ing Thomas Stone on Mon­day.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN NISWANDER

La Plata and Thomas Stone bat­tle for a loose ball in front of the cage dur­ing Mon­day’s con­test. The War­riors pre­vailed 2-1 over the Cougars.

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