Broken down charter delays Seahawks’ arrival, doesn’t slow them down in victory over Dulaney in 4A state field hockey final
by Gary Adornato
Dulaney High’s field hockey team was on the turf at Washington College’s Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium, preparing for Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game, a full 20 minutes before there was any sign of their opponent – two time defending champion South River.
As it turned out, the Seahawks’ charter broke down on the way to the contest, leaving the squad stranded for more than 30 minutes before another bus came to the rescue. Once they reached the field, however, the Hawks were all business, winning their third straight crown and the school’s seventh field hockey state title.
Athough the 2-0 final score does not indicate the level of domination which fourth-ranked South River displayed, to those on hand to witness the effort, the fact was obvious.
“Our bus, right as we came though the toll, kind of shut down on us,” explained South River coach Megan Atkinson. “Luckily the charter company was about five miles away and they were able to bring us a new bus.”
According to Atkinson, the team stayed loose during the ordeal.
“We kept ourselves light on the bus; we didn’t get too serious. We talked a little about the game, but we let the girls sing and listen to some of their warmup music. We kept our minds busy instead of being focused on something too serious.”
Dulaney did its best to defend the potent Seahawks, especially sophomore goalkeeper Allie Mercer, who stopped nine shots, but South River was constantly on the attack. The Seahawks registered a 16-4 advantage on penalty corners, including a 10-0 spread in the first half.
South River dominated the first 13 minutes of play before finally getting the payoff at the 17 minute mark. Morgan Lee inserted a penalty corner and Allison Corey cranked a powerful blast from the top left edge of the circle, sending the ball crashing into the back of the goal.
The second goal came with 27:53 to play in the second half and again it was off a penalty corner, inserted by Lee to Corey. Corey took another big shot, but this time it was deflected on goal by senior Alexis Seidel.
“We’ve been working on corners all season and I am glad we got it in when it counted,” said Corey. “Every time we had a corner we knew we had to get it in and I am just glad we capitalized on those two corners.
“I am glad we came out here and finished today. We really wanted to win and I am glad we executed.”
Corey also talked about the adventures during the drive over from Annapolis area.
“At first we didn’t know what was happening. We thought our coaches were pulling a prank on us. We just waited until the next bus came. We were a little late, but we were ready and excited to play.”
Dulaney played its best hockey over the next 10 minutes, getting its first penalty corner with 23 minutes left and adding four more over the next several minutes. Then, with 10:37 left, the Lions appeared to cut their deficit in half when a lofted shot from Zoe Herman, from the top center of the box, glanced off the stick of Seahawk keeper Kaitlyn Wallace and into the net.
While the Lions were celebrating, however, the officials conferred and waived off the goal, ruling it a dangerous play. The turnaround deflated the Lions and South River was able to play out the string.
The Seahawks’ last two state final victories have come at Dulaney’s expense.
“I didn’t agree with that call at all,” said Dulaney coach Kellie Fialcowitz. “That’s a totally legal shot. The initial shot only has to hit the bottom boards if it is a drive, but it wasn’t a drive. It was a reverse chip. Had they upheld that it would have changed the momentum of the game.”
Regardless, Fialcowitz was happy with her club’s performance which features largely a new cast from the one that appeared in Chestertown last year.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Fialcowitz. “We graduated 11 seniors and to make it back here with four seniors is really something to be excited about their effort. I am very proud of their effort.”
CLASS 4A FIELD HOCKEY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
at Washington College
NO. 4 SOUTH RIVER 2, NO. 15 DULANEY 0
GOALS: SR-Corey, Seidel.
ASSISTS: SR-Morgan, Corey
SAVES: DUL-Mercer 9; SR-Wallace 3.
2018 CLASS 4A FIELD HOCKEY
SOUTH RIVER SEAHAWKS