Bobcat stick girls win two of three
Plymouth’s Felicia Anderson battles Kingswood’s Erinn Vittum for the ball during action in Wolfeboro Sept. 28. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 03, 2011PLYMOUTH — A good week for the Plymouth field hockey team ended on a tough note, as the Bobcats dropped their first game since opening day, falling by a 3-1 score at Merrimack Valley on Friday, Sept. 30.
However, the week started out with a couple of big wins for the Bobcats. Plymouth welcomed Kearsarge to town on Monday, Sept. 26, and walked off the field with a 7-0 win. They then traveled to Wolfeboro on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and knocked off rival Kingswood by a 2-0 score.
"Every time we play Kingswood, it always manages to be a battle," said Plymouth coach Ashley Fleming.
Plymouth wasted no time getting on the board in Wolfeboro, as Maria Mayne finished off some great Bobcat pressure less than three minutes into the contest to give Plymouth a 1-0 lead early on. Fleming noted that the lead allowed the Bobcats to relax a bit, which kept them going throughout the game.
"That relieved a lot of pressure and got us more confidence," Fleming said. "It kind of put them in the right frame."
The Bobcats didn't back away with the lead, however, as they continued to pressure the Kingswood defense and got a number of penalty corners early in the game. Kayla Sullivan had a couple of good looks for the Bobcats but couldn't find the back of the net.
Kingswood finally got going in the offensive zone, but the Plymouth defense held strong, with Sam Aguiar and Kenady Kelly turning in solid defensive stops in front of keeper Taylor Lyford.
Plymouth continued to attack at the offensive end as well, with Leah McAuliffe getting a couple of solid chances. McAuliffe also stepped up with a couple of solid plays at the other end of the field.
Lyford did a great job turning away two Kingswood chances in the final minutes of the half and the Bobcats took a 1-0 lead to the break.
Both teams had chances in the opening minutes of the second half, but it was Plymouth who got on the board, as Mayne again found the back of the cage with less than six minutes gone for a 2-0 lead.
Ann Furbush, Sullivan and Angelina Stewart had great chances for the Bobcats as they looked to expand their lead, but the Knights held strong in the defensive zone. Plymouth also got more strong defensive play from Kelly and company as Kingswood threatened to get on the board. Michaela Hall made a good defensive clear and Brittany Irish and Meghan Coursey teamed up for a good offensive run that was stopped by the Knights.
The two teams exchanged chances down the stretch, but Lyford did her job to keep the shutout in tact and Plymouth took the 2-0 win.
"We faced Kingswood the first time in that rut of ties," Fleming said. "So it was good to get out of that."
She went on to praise the play of Mayne, who had a strong couple of games in leading the whole front line with solid passing. She also praised Aguiar and Cate Huynen for their defensive play and Kelly and McAuliffe for their play in the middle.
"After all those ties, it's important they are getting the lead and keeping the lead," she said.
The Bobcats had also recorded a win over defending champion Kennett in the previous week, giving them three wins in a row.
"Kennett and Kingswood, those are big wins," Fleming said. "The girls know how well they can play."
The Bobcats will host Laconia on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and will close out the season with a trip to Lebanon on Oct. 13. The Bobcats lost to the Raiders in the first game of the season.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126