SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 27, 2012

Crusaders in control in victory over Notre Dame

By Dan Harrison
Correspondent

---- — PEABODY — The Bishop Fenwick field hockey team sent wave after wave of offense at visiting Notre Dame Academy yesterday but with some bad bounces and a few missed swipes, the Crusaders managed only one goal in the bout.

The heavy emphasis on offense left Fenwick open to some potential counter attacks by the Cougars but near perfect play in the midfield and on defense ensured the Crusaders the 1-0 win.

“We had a lot of opportunities in the circle,” explained Fenwick coach Mary Beth Mahoney. “We were getting the first shot but we need to do a better job picking up the rebound and finishing on the second and third opportunities.”

Bishop Fenwick (3-3-1) dominated possession from the start, piling 11 first half shots on opposing goalie Grace Pozniak, but it wasn’t until

there was just under three minutes left in the first half that the Crusaders were able to take the lead.

Just after a ball hopped over senior tri-captain Jen Jordan’s stick on an open opportunity in front of the net, the Crusaders were able to keep the ball in the Cougars’ end. Katie Hart sent a pass into the middle of the circle and after a Pozniak save, Andrea Klos settled the ball and swept it past the Notre Dame (2-2-3) keeper.

“It was the one example of where we followed through on our second opportunity,” explained Mahoney. “She (Klos) picked up the rebound off the goalie’s pads and was able to put it back in. She is a workhorse in the circle. She keeps trying and trying and she helps us create a lot of opportunities there.”

Klos was one of many active attackers for the Crusaders. Jordan created many of Fenwick’s opportunities from the right wing and kept her intensity all the way through the second half even after she took a Cougar clear attempt off the side of the face.

“We did a lot of work in practice yesterday moving the ball in between them and trying to get around them using our stick skills, which I know we have even though it doesn’t always show,” noted Jordan. “We were definitely putting the pressure on, working as a team and communicating.”

Aside from the play of Jordan and Klos, Fenwick remained on the attack throughout the game thanks to some very strong play from the midfield unit. Kathleen Moran, Natalie Moore, Caitlin Pollard and Jackie Hart were outstanding both in thwarting the long hits in transition and constantly keeping the ball moving forward into the offensive end and away from the Fenwick goal.

The defense remained solid as well, clearing any attempt that got close to keeper Bridgett Townsend who faced only three shots in the game.

“The defense did a great job today. We’ve been working on stopping the long ball and making a change coming up the field and I think this was probably the best job they did all season,” said Mahoney. “And the whole midfield had a good game.”

When these two teams played earlier in the season, Fenwick went on the road and earned a 4-1 victory. Yesterday’s match was certainly closer in terms of goal differential, but the Crusaders seemed to get a much better showing from Notre Dame this time around.

“I am pleased as punch,” explained Cougars head coach Cindy Tozzi. “We really covered their main goal scorers and I was very pleased the way we came together and my goalie came up huge. We just couldn’t capitalize on the offensive flow and didn’t have many shots.”

Notre Dame also had zero corner attempts in the entire game while Bishop Fenwick had over a dozen. The Crusaders, who also out shot their opponents 21-3, weren’t able to convert on their set plays.

“We had our fly back off a little and my trail backed off a little and

that seemed to work,” said Tozzi. “It kind of messed them up.”