La Plata field hockey rallies to top Stone
Meiser scores game-winning goal
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.
La Plata’s Katelyn Gordon looks upfield during the first half of Monday’s 2-1 win over visiting Thomas Stone on Monday.
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.