USA Field Hockey
Day one concludes at JWNC with 22 goals
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - The first game of the 2011 Junior Women’s National Championship was an exciting one. Teams from the South and Midwest took the field to commence the tournament and wasted little time putting goals in the cage. Although early pressure favored the Midwest, the South tallied the first goal in the 21st minute with a hard strike off a rebound by striker Emily Kole (Chapel Hill, NC). Moments later Midwest equalized with another straight hit from the top of the circle, this time Kelsey Harbin (Escondido, CA) slipped it right past the South goalkeeper. The pressure did not cease there, in the 28th minute Midwest’s Elise Ogle (Stanford, CA) scored a beautiful diving goal after a crisp pass from outside the 25. The South trailed at halftime 1-2.
The Midwest quickly continued their offense in the second half, Sarah Drake (Ann Arbor, MI) found the back of the net with a quick backhand shot just two minutes into play. She wasn’t done there. Two minutes later, Drake tapped in a midair pass from her teammate to stretch the Midwest lead to 4-1.
In the 52nd minute, the Midwest’s Nikki Parsley (Milford, DE) added a tally with a onetime sweep from teammate Sydney Kirby (Cleveland Heights, OH), making the score 5-1. The South answered with a goal at the 56th minute by Michelle Roberts (Ann Arbor, MI) after a string of short passes starting at the 30 yard mark. Roberts’ goal would be the final of the match, leaving the score 5-2 in favor of the Midwest.
The second match of the day featured skillful competition from Pennsylvania and Mid Atlantic. Both teams traded offensive opportunities in the first half, with Mid Atlantic holding a slight edge in penalty corners 3 -2. It was not until the 30th minute when Mid Atlantic finally found the back of the cage with a powerful penalty corner shot by Kelly Bonner (Elverson, PA). As time expired in the first half Christyn Davidson (Reading, PA) intercepted the ball at midfield, dribbled to the stroke, and finished with a strong push on goal. But, a diving save by the Mid Atlantic goalie would deny the equalizer and leave the score Mid Atlantic 1, Pennsylvania 0 at the half.
The changes made by Pennsylvania at halftime proved to be dangerous, but shortlived, as penalty corner inserter Rachel Misko (Morristown, NJ) gathered the ball in the lower left corner and lifted it past the goalkeeper in the 37th minute to tie up the game. After the goal Pennsylvania’s intensity faded fast as Mid Atlantic racked up 4 goals in the final 25 minutes. In the 49th minute, Dana Allaband chased down a stray ball in the right corner and shot across cage past the goalkeeper to take the lead. Seven minutes later, Mary Vicars (Moesley, VA) found Stephanie Hussey (Miami, FL) who dished a beautiful pass to Kati Nearhouse (Nanticoke, PA). Nearhouse shot, and an error by Pennsylvania defender awarded Mid Atlantic with a penalty stroke. Christy Longacre (Bethlehem, PA) took the stroke and successfully lifted the ball high left to make the score 3-1 in the 57th minute.
Moments later, Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, MD) dove to score the fourth goal for Mid Atlantic. Pennsylvania fought back, but was denied. With 16 seconds on the clock, Mid Atlantic’s Dana Allaband received a pass high on the right side of the circle and sent a beautiful ball to the opposite post where Kati Nearhouse ( Nanticoke, PA) reached for the tip. The stunning play concluded the game at Mid Atlantic 5, Pennsylvania 1.
The final contest of the day featured teams hailing from New Jersey and New England. The whistle blew and New Jersey’s offensive sparked instantly earning a penalty corner in the 3rd minute. The initial penalty corner shot was saved by the New England goalkeeper, while the rebound attempt was denied by a New England defender. But saying ‘third time’s the charm’ proved to be true for Tara Vittesse as she lifted the ball to the back of the net and put her team up 1-0. New England’s Lindsay Bennett (Kansas City, MO) tied it up at the 16th minute after a series of quick passes beat the goal keeper.
At the 22nd minute, Gabrielle Major (Royersford, PA) sent a backhand shot from the lower left corner in to make it 2-1, New Jersey. Four minutes later, Erica Borgo (Randolph, NJ) tipped it over New Jersey goalkeeper who went down during a 3 v 1, making the score 2-2 at halftime.
The second half brought more offensive fire power for New Jersey, who opened up at the 43rd minute with a goal from Kelley Stump (Allentown, PA). Stump dribbled past two defenders, scooped it past the goalie and finished with a strong push to the back of the cage.
New England fought back and at 50th minute, Emma Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, NY) sent a rocket that soared to the upper right corner of the cage. After review, the goal was allowed and New England brought the score to a tie at 3-3. Typical to the fast pace of the match, Tara Vittesse and Gabrielle Major quickly responded 2 minutes later with a stunning 2 v 1 that left Major open to finish past the New England keeper to take the 4-3 lead. New Jersey continued with a flurry of 2 v 1 and 3 v 2 scoring opportunities, extending the lead again in the 55th minute with another goal from Tara Vittesse. With 7:21 remaining on the clock a rain delay was issued and both teams headed to their respective locker rooms. Following the delay, New Jersey was awarded three consecutive penalty corners. The pressure once again proved to be too much for New England, as New Jersey’s Kelley Stump tipped in a shot from Allison Evans (Macungie, PA). The match concluded with back and forth play and a final score of New Jersey 6, New England 3.
Matches will continue tomorrow Sunday, June 19th at 4:30pm. Admission and parking are free and open to the public. All matches are played at the Virginia Beach National Training Center located at 2181 Landstown Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23456.
The game schedule is listed below with all times in local EST. Event news and results will be posted to the website daily. Live match information can be found on Twitter @USAFieldHockey.
Sunday, June 19
- Mid Atlantic vs Mid West @4:30PM
- New Jersey vs South @6:15PM
- New England vs PA @8:00PM
Tuesday, June 21
- PA vs New Jersey @4:30PM
- Mid West vs New England @6:15PM
- South vs Mid Atlantic @8:00PM
Wednesday, June 22
- New England vs South @4:30PM
- Mid Atlantic vs New Jersey @6:15PM
- Mid West vs PA @8:00PM
Friday, June 24
- Mid Atlantic vs New Engand @4:30PM
- South vs PA @4:30PM
- New Jersey vs Mid West @6:15PM
Saturday, June 25
- 5 vs 6 @4:00PM
- 3 vs 4 @4:00PM
- 1 vs 2 @6:00PM