VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – The first exciting game of Day 4 included New England and the South. New England controlled the opening minutes of the contest. Their attacking pressure proved successful in the 6th minute when Virgynia Muma (North Falmouth, MA) used a strong baseline run to find Kim Young (Sidney, NY) near the stroke. Young’s one time strike put New England up 1-0.
In the 9th minute, the South had an opportunity to level the match with a 3 v 1 breakaway play, but could not convert. A minute later, the South had another breakthrough play taking advantage of the flat New England defense and, Michelle Roberts (Ann Arbor, MI), pushed in a field goal to tie the game.
The play continued back and forth until the 30th minute when New England earned a penalty corner. Even though the planned corner was bobbled, Abby Bascetta (Granby, CT) collected the ball, carried right and ripped a hard shot to the opposite post. The score at halftime, New England 2, South 1.
The crafty New England forwards created numerous scoring chances to begin the second half. The squad converted again in the 38th minute with a goal from Alexa Sikalis (Acton, MA) who collected the rebound after an initial shot by Erica Borgo (Randolph, NJ).
In the 40th minute, Emma Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, NY) dashed around two defenders, but her picturesque shot nicked the post. The rebound, gathered by Lindsay Bennett (Kansas City, MO), was denied by South defender Molly Murphy (Winston-Salem, NC) on the goal line.
Six minutes following, the South’s Michelle Roberts grabbed another goal after a scramble in front of the cage to make the score 2-3.
New England’s Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, NH) redirected a ball from Emilie Stenly (Valey Center, CA) to extend their lead to 4-2 in 61st minute. The South was unable to sustain any offense in the final ten minutes and the final score was left at 4-2.
The second match featured a friendly sister rivalry between New Jersey’s Tara Vittese and Mid Atlantic’s Carissa Vittese, yet only one could walk away with a victory.
The highly skilled match went back and forth for the opening minutes. Missed attacking opportunities for New Jersey and clutch saves by their goalkeeper, Anna Zarkoski (Trooper, PA), kept the match scoreless.
New Jersey finally made its way onto the scoreboard with a goal from Tara Vittese in the 16th minute. Vittese brought the ball down the left side of the field before firing a shot to the back of the net. Tara was only getting started; adding another goal in the 22nd minute with a reverse chip from the top of the circle to stamp New Jersey’s lead at 2-0.
An offensive surge from Mid Atlantic near the conclusion of the first half brought a flurry of penalty corners. They finally crossed the goal line in the 30th with a penalty corner tip from Stephanie Hussey (Miami, FL).
Two minutes later, New Jersey answered back with a field goal from Christina Conrad (Fallston, MD) in the 32nd minute. Conrad grabbed a teammate’s rebounded shot and swept it to the boards to set a halftime score of New Jersey 3, Mid Atlantic 1.
In the 43rd minute, the dynamic skills of Marie Elena Bolles (Phoenixville, PA) allowed her to get a touch on a low penalty corner drag from Colleen Boyce (Califron, NJ). The redirection sent New Jersey up, 4-1.
Mid Atlantic put the pressure on and earned their fair share of chances, including a threatening interception in front of the cage from the speedy Alyssa Parker (Woodbine, MD). But inconsistency and lack of passing connections would prevent them from putting another in.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s Tara Vittese figured she would make it a hat trick and added one more in the 61st minute off a beautiful penalty corner hit from Marie Elena Bolles. The lights were just coming on as Game 2 concluded, but the real shine was from New Jersey, who took the match 5-1.
Midwest and Pennsylvania lined up for the primetime spot at 8:00pm. Pennsylvania got off to an early lead with a penalty corner goal from Jenna Chrismer (Mountain Top, PA). The initial shot was taken by Tara Zollinger (Jeannette, PA), but it was saved on the line by a Midwest defender. However, Chrismer was there to touch the second effort in.
Hungry for an equalizer, Erin Schneidtmiller (Louisville, KY) found a way to score after a cluster in front of the cage in the 31st minute. As the whistle blew for halftime, the teams retired to the bench at an even, 1-1.
Miscommunication and panic seemed to plague the Midwest second half. Plus, a yellow card for Sarah Drake (Ann Arbor, MI), in the 58th minute left them playing a person down for 5 minutes.
Pennsylvania capitalized in the 62nd minute with a field goal from Whitney Reddig (Lititz, PA) and again in the 68th with a penalty corner goal from Tara Zollinger.
Midwest seemed to finally find their groove, but they were just 65 minutes too late. A sneaky goal from Sarah Drake in the 69th cut the deficit to one, but would not suffice. Pennsylvania took the match, 3-2.
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 23rd is a rest day. Action resumes on Friday 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.
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