KI 3 — Crisfield 1
Siblings power the attack as KI moves perfect mark to 9-0
CRISFIELD — A 2½-hour bus ride to a big game is no concern, when your best friend is with you.
The Kaufman sisters — senior Celena and sophomore Ella — scored their team’s first and last goals Wednesday, as Kent Island High’s field hockey team made its third trip to a South Bayside school in a week but remained unbeaten with a 3-1 win over Crisfield.
“She’s my teammate, and she’s my best friend,” Celena Kaufman said of her younger sister. “And it’s been great having her to play with. We talk all the time, and really, the whole team is a bunch of friends. We communicate really well with each other, and it’s... just great to be able to play together, and to keep winning.”
The victory marked the eighth shutout of the season for the Buccaneers (9-0), who’ve allowed just one all season, that in Monday’s 3-1 victory over James M. Bennett. The long bus rides — 2½ hours to Pocomoke High on Sept. 28, over 90 minutes to Bennett on Monday, and more than two hours to Crisfield on Wednesday “is tough. It is really tough,” Bucs head coach Jami Wilt said. “It’s wear and tear on them. I said to the girls, I know they’re physically exhausted. They get home late, and then they have homework. And then the next day they have to get up and do it all over again.
“Plus, we’re young. We graduated 13 last year,” Wilt added. “We graduated an entire team. And for them to be able to keep playing the way they did, it’s been just great.”
Celena Kaufman’s goal, a hard slap off a penalty corner, which found its way through a gaggle of bodies in the game’s eighth minute, made it 1-0. It stayed that way until Maggie Silver threaded the needle between several players for a 2-0 Kent Island lead less than 90 seconds before intermission.
The first half, Wilt said, was a strong performance for her team, but the Crabbers (5-3) rallied in the second half.
“I feel like, at the beginning of the second half, Crisfield came out and they were dominating,” Wilt said. “First half, they didn’t have a shot on my goalie, and second half, they came out
and they were pounding the shots.”
One of those shots, by Noel Atkins eight minutes into the second half, cut the Bucs’ lead to 2-1. But the score, and the subsequent continued pressure, produced a positive result.
“They got their backs against the wall a little bit,” Wilt said, “and then they came alive. I think they realized that you have to play all 60 minutes. And they finished well.”
Ella Kaufman’s score in the game’s closing moments provided some insurance. Though Crisfield pushed toward the Bucs’ goal as the clock expired, the Buccaneer defense, which helped the team compile a 16-9 advantage in shots on goal, held firm.
“It’s great playing with my sister,” Ella Kaufman said after the win. “We first started playing when... I was in second grade, so yeah, it’s been fun for a long time. And the team around us is great too.” Follow me on Twitter:
Kent Island’s Cambell Beach, left, and Maggie Silver battle for a loose second-half ball against Crisfield’s Evyan Potter on Wednesday.