Cabrini women’s field hockey defeated the Keystone College Giants 3-1 on Saturday, Oct. 9. The Cavaliers triumphed over the second-ranked team in the CSAC division.
“We don’t pay attention to conference rankings. Every game is the big game. We play like it is the championship,” Julie Smith, assistant coach, said.
Field hockey is a game of quick-changing possession but the Lady Cavs kept consistent control over the ball.
Senior mid-fielder Allie Rodolico used her strong drives to keep the ball in Cabrini’s possession.
Junior forward Lauren Alessi scored her team-leading sixth goal in the first half of the game. Struggling to get a goal after two corner hits, Alessi fought through a crowd of players to score the first goal of the game.
“We are all leaders. We are strong as a team,” Alessi, said.
Keystone College’s sophomore forward Hope Krolewski used her speed to race up the field but Cabrini’s defense was able to stop her from getting a shot on goal.
Both teams struggled with possession for the remainder of the first half. By halftime, Cabrini had six shots on goal.
In the second half, Keystone started with the ball but Cabrini quickly took control. The Lady Cavs rarely let the ball cross midfield for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The Keystone fans loudly questioned the referees’ calls. Finally their demands were answered.
A series of penalty hits for Keystone helped to push the ball up field in their favor. A corner was just what Keystone needed to tie the game.
Junior forward Brackney Brotzman drove the ball into the goal after a corner play to set up a perfect shot. Senior goalie Caitlin Donahue saved three attempts on goal and only allowed Brotzman’s goal.
The Cavaliers quickly pushed up the field and did not allow the tied game to break their stride.
A Cabrini corner resulted in a quick shot, passing every defender before they could react. Sophomore mid-fielder Taylor McGarvey scored her first goal of the season, taking back the lead.
Another goal was scored with 5 minutes left in the game. Senior back Courtney Davis assisted the final goal, passing the ball from the top of the arc to senior mid-fielder Shannon Mulhern.
The extra goal added reassurance and the Lady Cavs were able to celebrate their third-straight win against a CSAC opponent.
Freshman mid-fielder Erin McLaughlin said there are a lot of standards expected to be met playing as a freshman a year after winning the CSAC division.
“We have the potential to win again. A lot of the returning players know what we have to do to win and we all learn from each other,” McLaughlin said.
Alessi said playing with a young team is great because everyone learns from each other.
“Everyone works together and it helps to mesh the team. You get to learn everyone’s styles and play off of that.”
Alessi believes the team has potential to take the championship again but “I don’t want to jinx it,” she said. “We just want top six.”
“If we play the way we can, and work up to our potential, we can definitely take the title again,” Smith said.
With such a young team, coach Jackie Neary has the potential to train her team to work up to its potential for many seasons to come.