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Glastonbury Outlasts Enfield 1-0 in Thrilling Game - TheSportsDept.com

Glastonbury Outlasts Enfield 1-0 in Thrilling Game

By Danny Atkinson

GLASTONBURY-Hopes were high for an exciting game Monday when the undefeated Enfield and Glastonbury High School field hockey teams squared off against one another. The riveting matchup managed to exceed expectations. The Eagles and Tomahawks played a fast-paced and dynamic affair that was very balanced. Ultimately, the game came down to one great shot.

Glastonbury senior midfielder Lauren David scored with 12:34 remaining in the first half to give the Tomahawks (12-0) a 1-0 lead it never relinquished. Enfield (9-1) had a number of good scoring opportunities in both halves and especially late in the game but was unable to capitalize, with the GHS defense interfering with passes and making some athletic last-second plays to stop shots.

“Our kids play for each other and they’ll each do whatever is needed to help the team be successful,” Tomahawks head coach Maureen Perkins said.     “ They had to tough things out and dig really deep today and they certainly came through against a very good team.”

“I’m so proud of these kids. They put it all on the line and never gave up,” Enfield head coach Cookie Bromage said. “I thought we played our best game as a team all season.”

Glastonbury had to play in the afternoon after coming back to defeat Longmeadow (Mass.) 3-2 Monday night, and the players displayed tired legs at times throughout the game. The teams traded off possessions in the opening few minutes of the first half, with both defenses doing a strong job of cutting off passes and limiting the movement of ball handlers.

David scored midway through the half when she received a pass along the left sideline from Lindsey Janeczek within a crowd of players. David released a pinpoint shot that beat Enfield goalie Kelly Mazza in the right corner of the goal. Her score came off of a penalty corner shot.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game after coming off of last night, so to score the winning goal was very exciting,” David said. “Today was a really good game for us against a great team.”

“We took advantage of that early scoring opportunity when we had pressure and Lauren did the job for us,” Perkins said. “Lauren knows that we have faith in her and when she gets the ball she knows what to do.”

Following David’s score, neither team was able to gain the upper hand in the half’s final minutes, with both defenses continuing to play well. Enfield had one shot blocked near the goal with 9:31 to go and then missed wide of the net on the following possession. Glastonbury had a good scoring opportunity amid a crowd of players in front of the goal with roughly five minutes to go, but the Eagles defenders were able to interfere enough to keep the ball away.

The opening minutes of the second half continued to be even-handed and had the teams trading possessions, with neither allowing open looks at the goal. As the game got deeper into the second half however, Enfield slowly but surely dominated possession of the ball and earned five penalty corner kicks, leaving the Glastonbury defense on its heels.

A succession of “close but no luck” misses for the team began with 19:30 remaining when Tomahawks goaltender Emily Pepe lunged to the ground and blocked a shot just before it entered the net. After a few minutes, Enfield’s forwards broke through the pressure and the defense was forced to block multiple shots and passes at the nine-minute mark.

The Eagles came closest to tying the game within a span of 20 seconds. First, a shot banged off the far corner of the crossbar with 6:40 to go. They quickly earned a penalty corner shot on the next possession, with the ball going to Taylor Geaglone at 6:22. The junior smashed a shot that looked destined for the goal but instead barely hit the post, stopping just short of the goal line.

Enfield continued to put pressure on the defense in the final five minutes, but to no avail. Its shots were either blocked by the athletic defenders or went wide of the goal. The Eagles earned a penalty corner on the game’s final play, but the shot was intercepted.

Mazza finished with seven saves, while Pepe earned four.

Perkins praised her defense for their performance throughout the game and especially down the stretch.

“After playing Longmeadow last night, we needed our guys to stand up and just to hold them off, and that’s what they did. Our D, our keeper, they all came up big when we needed them to come up big,” she said. “We took advantage of the opportunity we had when it came, and our defense just held the rest of the way.”

Bromage discussed her team’s offensive play and the scoring chances.

“We threw everything we could at them and kept the pressure up, but it’s just a game of inches. I thought Taylor’s shot went in at first,” Bromage said. “We managed to keep the ball on this half of the field and away from their offense and had some amazing opportunities to score.”

“Today was definitely a very even-matched game and a good test for us going into the postseason,” David said. “It was pretty tough for our defense, they had some good shots. I think our defense really came together and cleared some shots out to prevent goals.”

Glastonbury will play at Hall on Thursday, while Enfield will look to rebound from the loss with wins against Norwich Free Academy and at Windsor Thursday and Friday.

Perkins and David are even more confident in their team going forward.
“Everything you’re doing now is geared toward finishing strong and getting yourself ready for the tournament. Anybody can beat anybody in Class L on a given day,” Perkins said. “We feel like we’re putting games together that are going to make us strong for when we need it down the road.”

“It helps our confidence that we can do so well against two great teams. We need to continue working on moving in the right direction, with defense coming first, and bring that hard work we do in practice into game,” David said.

For her part, Bromage feels the loss will help Enfield improve going forward.

“We need to show the intensity and smarts we did today and continue to work really hard. Everyone on this team respects one another. Today was a huge test and similar to a high-caliber tournament game, and I  absolutely can see this team going on a tournament run.”

 

 

 

 

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