Field hockey falls to Northwestern
Perhaps the biggest game left on both teams’ schedules, at least in terms of the Colonial League field hockey postseason picture, took two days to finish.
After a storm that postponed last week’s game between Salisbury and Northwestern, the two teams picked that contest up on Saturday with about 53 minutes of game time left to play. It seemed as if the layoff affected the Falcons more than the Tigers.
Holding a 1-0 lead after Salisbury scored early last Tuesday, Northwestern had an answer four days later. The Tigers (7-6-1 in Colonial League) scored all four goals on Saturday to down the Falcons, 4-1, and kept their league playoff aspirations alive.
“The score did not represent how we played,” Salisbury head coach Jane Brennan said. “We played with extremely high sportsmanship, and we were commended on our positive attitude by both the referees.”
Salisbury (5-8 in Colonial League) jumped in front early when Bella Martinez ripped a shot into the back of the cage. Shortly later, rain and lightning delayed the game until the weekend when the two teams would meet back at Salisbury High School.
This time, however, it was Northwestern who got off to a fast start. The Tigers scored the only two goals of the 23:34 remaining in the first half on Saturday. And it turns out that would be enough.
Northwestern then added two more in the final 30 minutes to secure the win behind an 11-7 advantage in shots on goal.
“The girls had really high spirits playing under the lights [last Tuesday],” Brennan said. “Their momentum was cut short. It was unfortunate how it all played out.
“We were lucky to be playing Northwestern. We have developed a positive relationship between players and coaches. We waited out the storm in the gym together with no issues whatsoever.”
Tess Ledeboer scored two of the Tigers’ goals, while Sydney Derr and Reagan Hernandez each added goals. Derr, Allie Lister and Lauren Schellhamer recorded assists for Northwestern.
A victory over Northwestern would have given Salisbury its sixth league victory. And while unlikely to make the league playoffs, it would have at least kept those hopes alive.
Instead, its fourth loss in its past six Colonial League games ultimately evened out Salisbury’s fast start in conference play. The Falcons still have aspirations of advancing to districts and playing well.
“All of our losses are tough, and every one we learn from and move on,” Brennan said. “All we can do is remember basic skills and put them into action.”
The head coach said her team’s goals for the rest of the season and postseason are to “keep positive momentum, stay healthy and strong, play together and push each other to play our best to every ball.”