War­riors shut out Knights 3-0

3 dif­fer­ent goal scor­ers for Ma­toaca

The Progress-Index - - SPORTS - By Nick Van­de­loecht Sports Ed­i­tor

CH­ESTER­FIELD - The Ma­toaca High School Foot­ball Field on Mon­day saw a rel­a­tively new home de­fender in the War­riors field hockey team.

And de­fend the War­riors did.

The Mon­day night lights shone brightly on the War­riors as they de­feated ri­val Thomas Dale 3-0. It was the var­sity field hockey team’s se­cond match on the MHS foot­ball field this sea­son af­ter they de­feated Pa­trick Henry 1-0 on Thurs­day.

The War­riors scored all three goals in the first half on an early tally made by se­nior Katie Helms, a score by Noelle Farmer off a long cor­ner and a tap-in from sopho­more Al­li­son Crow­ley down near the post.

Crow­ley con­trolled the ball well up and down the field, An­nie Grace Louthan brought the big lifts and clear-outs while putting the ball in po­si­tion for Crow­ley to tap it in and the War­riors kept the ball down on the Knights’ side for most of the first half.

De­spite the con­stant pres­sure, Morgan Sto­larik, Gra­ciela Es­pana, Madi­son Swift and Lau­ren Zuskin were among the play­ers to de­liver strong de­fense for the Knights.

Jil­lian Pueppke played a cru­cial part in get­ting a ball away from the War­riors’ goal af­ter the Knights came close to ty­ing early in the con­test.

The Knights also pres­sured Ma­toaca near the top of the se­cond half, and then Sto­larik later led her team to a penalty cor­ner. But Louthan, Emma Kate Ever­hart, Anna Pletch and Jil­lian Pueppke kept most of the pres­sure off ju­nior keeper and re­cent Wake For­est com­mit Ally But­ler, and the de­fense bat­tled to pre­serve the shutout. But­ler got her foot on a save with nine min­utes to play.

“Ally and An­nie Grace have been play­ing to­gether since se­cond grade...that’s huge, and the same kind of po­si­tions, so they know where each other’s gonna go,” Ma­toaca Field Hockey head coach Deb­o­rah Wal­lace said, adding: “Those four de­fend­ers, they’ve been work­ing re­ally hard to­gether and played in­door to­gether, so they know: one’s go­ing here, the other one knows to cir­cle up and mark.”

The War­riors are a hard­fought 6-2. Their only two

de­feats thus far have come in 1-0 bat­tles on the fields of Lafayette (who won in over­time) and Prince George (who broke through on a goal late in the se­cond half).

“They’ve been play­ing off­sea­son to­gether try­ing to get stronger and get com­fort­able play­ing with each other,” Wal­lace said of her un­der­class­man-heavy team, adding: “They want to win, and they like play­ing th­ese tougher teams...that’s the kind of games they like play­ing. It makes you bet­ter.”

Ma­toaca next plays at Hopewell on Wed­nes­day, Oct. 10 at 4:30 p.m. The War­riors’ fourgame week also fea­tures matchups at Lee-Davis on Thurs­day and at home ver­sus Prince George on Satur­day.

[NICK VAN­DE­LOECHT/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Ma­toaca Field Hockey’s Al­li­son Crow­ley con­trols the ball in her War­riors’ home game ver­sus Thomas Dale.

[NICK VAN­DE­LOECHT/ PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Ma­toaca Field Hockey’s El­iz­a­beth Lo­vato (left) matches up against Thomas Dale’s Morgan Sto­larik.

PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM] [NICK VAN­DE­LOECHT/

Ma­toaca Field Hockey’s Jil­lian Pueppke (#5) gets the ball away from the War­riors’ goal.

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