Varsity Field Hockey
Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Forge Field Hockey team reached the .500 mark on Monday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over North Stafford. Juniors Allison Alznauer and Makenzie Shields were all the offense the Eagles would need on Senior Day as the team honored Catherine Schuster, Lexi Lewis and Ashley Espeland with a win to thank them for their contributions to the program.
The Eagles have tangled three times with North and the Forge has had no problems with the Wolverines. The two teams got together in the quarterfinal round of the Commonwealth District pre-season tournament with the Forge capturing a 4-0 win to start their season. The Forge peppered the net for four more goals in the next meeting at Embry Mills on September 27 before playing on Monday. This was a 2-1 Forge win but it really was not that close.
Senior Day can be tricky for some teams, with the emotions of teammates playing their final games on the home turf, but the Eagles seemed to use the pre-game ceremony as inspiration. Forge dominated time of possession early and even when their play forced some bad habits, they were able to make adjustments to regain control. The Eagles missed a few excellent opportunities with 10 minutes gone in the game, but kept the pressure on. Another junior was talking up her teammates in an effort to keep frustration from setting in. “Come on Forge, we’re better than this”, yelled forward Aaron Boatwright.
Her teammates were listening as on the Eagles next possession, Shields was stick handling on the right side and headed for the cage. She was cut off by the Wolverine defense to the right of the post. With a flick of the stick, she let go a crossing pass that found Alznauer alone on the other side of the net. She tucked the ball into the left corner of the net for a Forge 1-0 with 19:37 left in the first half.
Over the next 5 minutes, the Wolverines mounted their most consistent pressure on the Eagles cage, but sophomore net minder Jaedia Rodgers stood tall in the cage to keep the Forge on top. The Forge went on the offensive after that and crashed the North net numerous times over the next several minutes, causing Wolverine bench boss Sam Barbarczuk to get a time out to talk it over with 12:35 left.
The ploy seemed to calm down the Wolverines and the two teams exchanged corner opportunities. The best of those opportunities came on the Eagles side of the field when they got a tip in front that sailed just wide of the net with 8:47 left until the break. The next possession, a beautiful crossing pass was almost buried on a one-timer by Espeland but it was kicked out by North goalie Amy Iglesias-Duenes with 6:30 left. The Wolverines would be denied by Rodgers a minute later when she kicked out the right pad to keep North off the board. The Forge corner late sailed wide right and the teams went to halftime with the Eagles protecting a 1-0 advantage.
The first 10 minutes of the second half was all Forge as Iglesias-Duenes was peppered with shots early. The sophomore made a 10 bell directly save with 26:25 left in the game and it was not until the 20-minute mark did the Forge final solve the goaltender. There was all kinds of havoc in front with 19:18 left in the contest when Shields buried a long shot past Iglesias-Duenes with the game winning goal. North would finally find the back of the Forge net with just 1:42 left in the game on a goal by Mariam Farzayee but it was too little too late for the Wolverines.
The Eagles will finish out the regular season with a home game on Tuesday as they host the Stafford Indians @ 4pm. From there the Forge will head to the 6B Regional playoffs on Thursday, probably at home against Clover Hill. Stay tuned to “America’s Best Web Site” for updates and post-season match-ups.