Salisbury Press

Saturday, February 24, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONMadison Jewell carries the ball down the sideline during Saturday’s game against Northwestern. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONMadison Jewell carries the ball down the sideline during Saturday’s game against Northwestern.
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONThe Falcons’ Riley Peters tries to get past a Northwestern defender during Saturday’s game at Salisbury. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONThe Falcons’ Riley Peters tries to get past a Northwestern defender during Saturday’s game at Salisbury.

Lady Falcons refuse to give up

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

For the most part, the Salisbury field hockey team has beaten the opponents that its supposed to, but suffered losses to the teams that are among the top contenders in the Colonial League and District 11.

The Falcons have battled every step of the way, in every game. While Southern Lehigh beat the Lady Falcons 8-1, the other three losses Salisbury has suffered this season have been by a combined three goals.

Nowhere was the team’s willingness to battle more evident than Saturday night when it hosted Northwestern.

The two teams battled through over 25 minutes of scoreless field hockey before Sydney Derr scored the game’s first goal off an assist from Allie Costa to put the Tigers up 1-0.

The goal didn’t seem to deter Salisbury and they came out fighting in the second half. With 22:25 left in the game, Madison Jewell tied the score with an unassisted goal and the momentum swung sharply back in favor of Salisbury.

For a while, it looked like the Falcons had taken the lead late in the second period, but a goal was disallowed when the two referees conferred and ruled that the shot came from outside the circle. The instant momentum that Salisbury had earned immediately shifted to Northwestern, but Falcon head coach Jane Brennan used a timeout to rally her team to keep playing as hard as it had all game.

“That one was painful and there was a little bit of controversy,” said Brennan. “The referees called it and said it was outside the circle and no one touched it.

“I told our players, ‘we go forward. You don’t look in the rearview mirror. You drive looking forward.’ We had to get past that and we battled hard, but not hard enough.”

The two teams continued to take turns getting opportunities, but both goalies (Taylor Pope for Northwestern and Emily Silberman for Salisbury) played sharp defense and the game went into overtime.

Shortly into overtime, Northwestern was awarded an important corner and Costa had an open look from just in front of the goal and was able to flick a shot past Silberman to give Northwestern the win.

“I said to my assistant coach, ‘these hurt,’” said Brennan. “They really do hurt. But it shows the drive, the desire. It shows that they battle back and they don’t give up. They do not give up.”

The loss upped Northwestern to 4-2 on the season, while Salisbury dipped to 2-4.

While the loss was a tough one for Salisbury, Brennan believes that her team will use it as a confidence booster. Throughout the season, Salisbury has been able to take the smallest things and use them to build confidence.

“They’ve been building on every single thing,” said Brennan. “Every practice they learn something new. They’ve learned to trust each other. They’ve learned to trust me and our assistant coaches and that’s what it’s about.

“We’re building that foundation and we have a lot of starting freshmen that now play with seniors and they’ve never played together. We always say that we’re stronger together and we travel together and that’s what’s important. I’m so proud of them, I really am.”