Falcon field hockey beats Freedom 2-1
The Salisbury field hockey team started off its 2019 season on the right foot.
Playing their season-opener against a Freedom team that got the kinks out in a game the day before, the Falcons went on the road and defeated the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference team on the Patriots’ home turf, winning 2-1 Saturday morning in a nonconference game at Freedom High School.
After going 10-9 overall last season, starting off the season with a win is just how the Falcons (1-0 overall) wanted it to go. And it all began with hard work in the offseason.
“The girls spent a lot of time working together,” said head coach Jane Brennan. “Throughout the offseason it’s all been about cohesiveness and working together. We take pride in good communication and passing, and that is something they worked really hard on.”
Salisbury jumped out in front by scoring the game’s first two goals, both in the first half, and then held on through a late Patriots surge. Salisbury scored the game’s opening goal and its first goal of the 2019 campaign off of a corner by Katherine Lovelidge midway through the opening half.
Then Ella DeFazio tallied her first goal of the season with no time left on the clock off a corner as the first half ended and the Falcons went to halftime ahead 2-0.
“We like to be able to set the tone of the game,” Brennan said. “Things that we say in pregame is that we need to play our game and our style. We don’t want to see other teams play their game and get into a rhythm. We want to come out quick and grab the momentum. It’s hard playing catch up, especially for us as a more inexperienced team.”
The Patriots outshot the Falcons 10-6 overall and 8-4 in the first half. They also led in corners, 8-6.
Freedom got on the scoreboard with 13:26 left to play as Taynette Rodriguez scored on an assist by Isabella Schweikert.
Goalkeeper Josie DuBois came up big for the Falcons time and time again. She finished with eight saves, including two on one-on-one penalty corners.
“There’s only one returning defensive player,” said Brennan. “We’ve had to spend a lot of time working together as a defensive unit, being able to protect each other and our goalie. Josi [DuBois] had some time on varsity last year, but also as a JV player too. She saved two penalty strokes today. I couldn’t ask for much more out of our goalies. Knowing everyone out there on defense would be there for each other and back each other up was key.”
Salisbury jumps into Colonial League play this week with games against Saucon Valley (Wednesday at Salisbury HS), at Southern Lehigh (Thursday) and at Bangor (Saturday).