Sabers win 9th of year
Thursday, October 10, 2013
AMHERST – Inclement weather kept the Souhegan High School field hockey team off the practice field on Sunday, but that wasn’t enough to knock the Sabers out of their rhythm for gameday.
Souhegan notched its fourth straight win, beating Oyster River, 2-0, on Monday in a Division II matchup.
The Sabers got off to a strong start, applying pressure on the Bobcats’ defense with a showcase of shooting and clean passing, led by Devon Hickey and Gina Mancini.
“We practice a cross drill a lot in practice that I think we implemented very well in this game,” Hickey said.
Katie Almeida broke through with a rebound goal off the pad of Oyster River goalkeeper Marissa Flynn (eight saves) 17:40 into the half to give Souhegan (9-2) the lead.
“In the circle, the forwards and the links were working together and moving around, getting as many touches on the ball as they could to pull the goalie off angle,” Souhegan coach Kelli Warecki said. “Their movement in the circle was critical (Monday).”
Five and a half minutes later, Jesse Jay sent a ball into the shooting circle where it was forwarded into the net by Hickey.
“My teammates do a really good job of feeding it in so it’s just as much their goal as it is mine,” Hickey said. “I just slip it in at the last second.”
The Bobcats managed to tighten up against the aggressive Souhegan offense in the latter half and almost tallied a goal of their own in the closing moments, when a Sandra Strogen shot went wide of the net. Souhegan net minder Kate Heaney made three saves as the Sabers recorded their third shutout of the year.
“We had a couple of letdowns that cost us the goals,” said Oyster River coach Mark Smallwood. “The things that we don’t do well we continue not to do well and that burns us on a consistent basis. The effort and intensity were there throughout the whole game. Despite the result, I take that away as a very positive sign for our team.”
The Bobcats conducted six penalty corners to the Sabers’ four.
Blustery winds and a soggy field were at play, but did not faze the Sabers; if anything, it was helpful. The wind was at Souhegan’s back in the first half and had died down by the time the second half rolled around.
The ninth win puts the postseason on the horizon for the Sabers, who have 13 goals in their last four games and have shutout their opponents in two of the last three.
“With three games left in the season we’re definitely starting to focus a bit more on the postseason and what that’s going to be like,” Warecki said. “It starts fresh at that point.”
The Sabers sit behind Windham (9-1) and Lebanon (8-1-1) in the standings. Lebanon and Merrimack Valley (7-3) have been the only teams to take down Souhegan so far.
The Sabers were scheduled to host Hollis Brookline (2-8) on Wednesday before playing Con-Val (1-8-1) at home on Oct 15 and ending the regular season at Windham on Oct. 18.