It was a quite a week for the 15th-ranked John Carroll field hockey team, as the Patriots defeated a pair of Top 10 teams in the span of a three days.
Early this week, the Patriots handled No. 4 Garrison Forest, 2-1, and then on Friday JC topped neighborhood rival Bel Air, 3-1, at John Carroll. The Bobcats are currently ranked No. 6 in the VSN Field Hockey Top 20. Needless to say, the Patriots may have earned a promotion when the new rankings come out next week.
Senior Emily Stancliff paced John Carroll with two goals on Friday, scoring the first and third.
The Patriots took a 2-0 lead early in the first half, as Stancliff scored with an assist from Ashlee Kothenbeatel at the 24:50 mark. A few minutes later, Elie Bruggerman, with an assist from Sammi Edwards, scored the second goal with 21:24 remaining in the opening half.
Bel Air picked up the pace for the remainder of the half and into the second half, before final getting on the board with 9:29 to play, with an unassisted goal by Anna Farley.
With the pressure mounting, Stancliff hit the release valve and virtually iced the contest with her second score, with 5:49 to go.
“It was like a lift up for us,” said Stancliff of her second goal. “Right after the other team gets a goal, it’s always like a little weather down. It’s always great to bolster your own confidence and bolster your team’s confidence.”
Stancliff also reflected on the Patriots’ success thus far.
“It’s been a great start this year. We have a lot of talent, more so then we’ve had in past years, and we have a great coach who is really pushing us.”
The coach is none other than Alice Puckett, a John Carroll alum in her first year with the Patriots after a legendary 29 year run at Fallston where she won 366 games and 11 state championships.
“We’ve had a stellar week,” said Puckett who rewarded her team by giving them the next three days off to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. “I hope we can keep it up.”
According to Puckett, the Patriots focused their efforts on defending Farley.
“Anna Farley is dangerous. She’s capable of scoring at any time,” said Puckett. “She’s got a knack for knowing where the cage is and we tried to double team her all day and not let her have open shots, even though she still got a lot of looks early on.
“That third goal was huge because it did take the wind out of their sails and put a little spark back in us.”