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Glastonbury Earns Huge Win Against Undefeated Conard - TheSportsDept.com

Glastonbury Earns Huge Win Against Undefeated Conard

By Danny Atkinson

GLASTONBURY-The undefeated Glastonbury field hockey team entered Saturday afternoon’s game with rival Conard knowing they were going to face a tough challenge from the Chieftains, also undefeated. The Tomahawks answered with an outstanding performance that demonstrated why they are considered one of the best teams in the state.

Glastonbury (7-0) defeated Conard (4-1-1) 5-0 in front of a large crowd of fans. It pulled away in the second half, scoring four goals. Meanwhile, the Tomahawks defense limited the Chieftains to very few scoring opportunities. Senior forward Kate Tashjian led the way for GHS, scoring twice. The team has now recorded six consecutive shutouts.

“We played very well today against a strong Conard team and it is a highly important win,” GHS head coach Maureen Perkins said. “Our goal every year is to win the conference and this is a significant step towards that. Now we just have to continue to play at this level going forward.”

The opening 15 minutes of the first half was very even as both teams traded off possession, with neither defense allowing the opponent to advance the ball far down the field and find passing lanes.

Glastonbury finally earned a scoring opportunity and capitalized on it with roughly 14 minutes remaining in the half. Senior midfielder Bryn Murray momentarily found a shooting lane in a crowd of players in front of the goal and fired a shot past Chieftains goalie Isabelle Celio into the right corner of the net. The Tomahawks had a couple more good looks at the goal in the final 10 minutes but misfired on each.

Glastonbury took control of the game within the first 10  minutes of the second half, during which it frequently possessed the ball. It took a a 2-0 lead 4:44 in when senior midfielder Lauren David aimed a pinpoint shot into the goal, beating Celio to her left. The score was set up by a penalty corner shot. Just under six minutes later, the Tomahawks again scored off a corner shot, with Tashjian receiving the ball along the left sideline and putting a shot into the other side of the goal.

The GHS defense helped the team’s offense get more scoring opportunities in the second half by completely shutting down Conard. It was unable to advance the ball down the field past the Tomahawks athletic defenders, who consistently blocked  passes and forced turnovers while giving the Chieftains offensive stars little room to operate. This was reflected in senior goalie Emily Pepe having to make zero saves.

“We played very good team defense,” Perkins said. “Our defenders stepped up and made key plays when needed.”

Glastonbury scored its final two goals in the span of 21 seconds. Tashjian scored her second goal with 14:14 remaining off a corner shot. The Tomahawks immediately grabbed the ball back and junior forward Ali McLaughlin took advantage of Celio being out of position by putting the ball in right in front of the goal amid a crowd of players.

“Our passing was completely on point in the second half and that allowed us to get some good shots that we finished,” Perkins said.

With the win Glastonbury moved up to second in the Class L rankings behind 8-0 Darien. The team could also move in the state Coaches Field Hockey Poll. They were ranked third in this past week’s poll behind Staples and Darien. They will be heavy favorites in Tuesday and Friday’s games at East Catholic and Wethersfield.

Perkins gave a highly definitive answer when asked what her team must do to continue playing at a high level during the second half of the season.

“We have to execute the game plan on both sides of the ball every day. Class L is loaded this season and we cannot finish on top if we fail to do so.”

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