C. Milton Wright gets payback, dethrones No. 11 Chesapeake-Anne Arundel for 3A state field hockey championship; May scores twice (VIDEO HERE!)
by Gary Adornato
Third-ranked C. Milton Wright High capped a magical season with an impressive performance in Saturday’s Class 3A field hockey state title game, Saturday at Washington College in Chestertown, taking down No. 11 Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, 3-0. The Cougars had won the last two 3A state titles.
It was C. Milton Wright’s second field hockey state championship and first since capturing the 2013 3A crown. Last year, Chesapeake defeated C. Milton Wright, 2-0, in the penultimate match.
It was a different story Saturday as the Mustangs took control with two goals in the first six minutes of the contest and played outstanding defense in the second half to secure the crown. Arrianna May, who scored one of the earlier goals, then clinched the outcome with a counter attack goal, with less than eight minutes to play in the second half.
“It was pretty amazing,” said May of the feeling after netting her second score. “I was determined to get it so we knew we had it in the bag. We were really determined to win states after last year and we did, so it’s really fun.”
It took less than five minutes for C. Milton Wright to push in front.
After a nice save by Chesapeake’s Eve Vickery, in the fifth minute, May fired a shot from about eight yards out which was blocked by a Cougar defender. The ball, however, found its way to the stick of Samantha Aljets who slapped it back into the cage for the early lead.
May and Aljets also figured in the second goal, just two minutes later, as Aljets fed May in front for the score, at the 23:18 mark.
“They set the precedent from the start and changed the momentum of the game,” said C. Milton Wright coach Kelly Mattingly of her team’s fast start. “We kept the momentum throughout and we knew we had to play strong defense in the second half.”
Aljets finished the year as the Mustangs leading scorer with 14 goals and eight assists. She summed up the emotion of capping her senior year with a crown.
“It’s surreal, honestly,” said Aljets, who will play at Towson University next fall. “I am just taking it all in, in the moment. I love my team. I have been playing with a bunch of them for as long as I can remember. I love them all so much. They are all such great hockey players and I am so honored to be here with them today.”
With four minutes left in the first half, Chesapeake had its best opportunity to get on the board. Georgia Spangler got established in front of the cage for the Cougars and a ball was fed in from the left side. She tried to chip a bouncing shot around defender Ellie Muffley and keeper Finley Mooreland, but it missed wide right.
Otherwise, C. Milton Wright dominated possession in the first half.
Chesapeake pressure early in the second half, but as Mattingly explained, the Mustangs were fine taking a more defensive posture.
“We talked about making sure we marked tight from our forward line all the way back to our defensive line,” said Mattingly of the second half game plan. “We made sure no one was left open, especially in the circle.”
Mattingly is now 33-3 in two seasons at the helm of the Bel Air school and has made two straight 3A finals.
“This feels really good, especially after last year,” she said. “They came out strong. They came out ready to play and they have been wanting this for a long time.
“I have a really special group of girls who love field hockey. They really love being here and they really worked hard to earn this.”
Of course, Chesapeake coach Joan Johnson knows all about having a special group of girls after the Cougars third straight appearance in the championship game.
“It’s a really hard job to get to the state championship three times in a row and very proud of this team,” said Johnson. “I have 29 girls in my entire program and to get here with such a small squad is something we should be very proud of.
“I am so proud of my seniors to be here three times in a row, and my juniors because they have all been a part of it the whole time. They really kept our program going and we’re looking forward to keeping up the same tradition.”
Pictured above: C. Milton Wright’s Olivia Hennessey (left) fires a pass into the box as Chesapeake’s Shelby Bennoit challenges.
3A FIELD HOCKEY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
at Washington College
NO. 3 C. MILTON WRIGHT 3, NO. 11 CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL 0
CHES 0 0 — 0
CMW 2 1 — 2
GOALS: CMW-Aljets, May 2
SAVES: CHES-Vickery 4; CMW-Moreland 2.