KINGSWOOD’S KELLY WOOD tries to push the ball away from Plymouth’s Cortney Holmes during action Sept. 11. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 17, 2012WOLFEBORO — Both the Kingswood and Plymouth field hockey teams were coming off weeks where they knocked sticks with traditional rivals, so both teams came into their matchup in Wolfeboro on Tuesday, Sept. 11, looking to continue the level of intensity those games fostered.
The Knights were coming off a week where they played to a 1-1 tie with Kennett, while the Bobcats were coming off a week where they dropped a 3-2 decision to a very strong Lebanon squad.
And for the first half of the game, things continued along in that vein, with plenty of chances on both sides.
However, Plymouth was able to pull away in the second half, scoring a pair of unanswered goals to claim a 3-1 win.
"In the first half it took us a while to get things going," said Plymouth coach Ashley Laufenburg. "In the second half, I told them to get it back in their control and play the way they know how."
"We kept doing the same thing over and over again, which is certainly frustrating on our part," said Kingswood coach Kaitlin Reilly. "And it was making things easier and easier for Plymouth."
The visiting Bobcats had the best early chances, with some solid defense from the Knights closing down the opportunities. Kelly Wood and Delaney Hutchins turned in good plays to help keep the ball away from keeper Jess Colpoys.
Kingswood was able to get the ball back up the field, but the Plymouth midfield was stout, standing the Knights up before they could get in close on keeper Emelia Karntakosol.
Plymouth got a couple of good penalty corner chances early on, with Cortney Holmes getting in close on net, but good defense from Wood and Rachel Lapar shut down the Plymouth chances.
At the other end, Alisha McGlone was doing the same thing, as the Bobcat defender kept the Knights from getting in close on net with a couple of solid plays.
Angelina Stewart had a great chance for the Bobcats, with Colpoys having vacated the net in an aggressive attack, but the Kingswood defense stood strong. Plymouth did get a corner out of the deal, but good defense from Marisa Nardello kept the Bobcats from capitalizing. However, the visitors kept pressuring, with Holmes getting a look and Ann Furbush getting a good chance on another corner. Kenady Kelly had a look on a corner, but solid defense from Keely Rodgers, Lapar and Erinn Vittum helped close down the Plymouth attack. Colpoys also made a nice kick save to keep the ball from the net.
Kingswood threatened at the other end, with Lapar sending a nice ball in to Emma Danais, but the Knights were unable to capitalize and McGlone was solid again on defense.
The Bobcats finally got on the board with about 10 minutes to go in the half, converting on a corner. Mia Brickley put a shot on net that Colpoys turned aside, but Carolyn Ebner was on the doorstep and poked the rebound home for a 1-0 lead.
Kingswood came right back, scoring on a corner of their own just less than three minutes later, with Lapar pushing the ball past Karntakosol for the tying tally.
The two teams had multiple chances in the closing minutes of the half, with Nicole Matarozzo and Lapar of Kingswood and Kelly of Plymouth leading the charge, but both goalies and defense stood up and the game went to the half tied at one.
The Bobcats then got a tally from Stewart with just more than 10 minutes gone in the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
Matarozzo threatened to erase that lead about eight minutes later, as she broke through the defense, but Karntakosol made the save to preserve the lead.
Plymouth then capitalized on the momentum and Meghan Coursey pushed home a shot for a 3-1 lead with 9:34 to go in the game.
Kingswood had plenty of chances in the final minutes of play, with Matarozzo leading the charge, but McGlone, Leah McAuliffe and Brianna Luscher helped to shut down the Knight attack and preserve the win for Plymouth.
"Getting that first goal was good, but to then let them right back puts it back to the beginning," Laufenburg said. "But I expect nothing less from a team like Kingswood."
For Laufenburg's team, the game was just another in a tough stretch and a good bounce back from the team's first loss.
"This is going to be a tough couple of weeks," the Bobcat coach said. "Every game is going to be a battle."
Reilly echoed her fellow coach's expectations coming in.
"You expect a great game," the Knight coach said. "But I think it was a good wake-up call for us, to see areas we need to focus on in practice."
The Bobcat girls traveled to Kennett on Thursday, Sept. 13, and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Eagles.
The Knights played host to Portsmouth on Friday, Sept. 14, and after a scoreless battle through regulation, picked up a 1-0 win in overtime, with Matarozzo putting the ball home after a great pass forward from Wood.
"It was very patient and very smart," Reilly said of Matarozzo's move to the net.
The Knights had 16 shots and 15 penalty corners on the afternoon, dominating the play, but couldn't put anything in the net until the extra frame.
"We did dominate offensively," Reilly said. "We're just going to keep working on putting it in the net."
The Bobcats will be in action on Friday, Sept. 21, a home against Goffstown at 4:30 p.m. The team is at Laconia at 4:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, and will host Kennett at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The Knights will be back in action on Monday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m., hosting Kennett. The girls hit the road to Goffstown for a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126