MARBLEHEAD — Linda Rice-Collins’s squad wishes they could have had the middle two quarters of their game against Masconomet back, but that’s the way it breaks in field hockey sometimes.
Marblehead allowed three goals in the first quarter and none in the fourth, but gave up five unanswered between the second and third quarters as Masconomet beat Marblehead by a score of 8-2 at Piper Field on Tuesday.
The Chieftains got the scoring started early in the first as Julia Graves put a shot into Marblehead’s net at the 13:08 mark of the first quarter. Marblehead answered quickly with a Kate Bickell goal less than two minutes later, and the teams seemed to be on their way to a close battle. That would not come to fruition, however, as Masconomet tacked on two more goals to go up 3-1 at the end of quarter one.
It was all Masconomet in the second as Maguire Sturgis scored both of her team’s goals in the quarter. Marblehead’s defense played relatively well throughout the game. However, it was tough sledding for the Magician’s offense, which forced the team to play most of the game from their defensive zone. That resulted in breakdowns of the defensive lines and tired-out players, allowing Masconomet to score rapidly.
“We knew what they were going to do; we had practiced it, we had watched them on tape, we knew exactly where it was going,” said Rice-Collins. “When they started getting ahead, that’s when [we] started backing down and not playing the game that we knew.”
Masconomet came out firing again at the beginning of the second half with two goals in the first five minutes. The Chieftains scored again around the five-minute mark and headed into the fourth with an 8-1 lead.
Despite the game snowballing for the first three quarters, Marblehead’s best quarter ended up being the fourth. They were able to finally shut down Masconomet’s offensive scheme and didn’t allow a goal. The Magicians were able to hold possession in the attacking zone more than they had all game and broke through for their second goal of the game when Neely Payne sent a shot flying past Masconomet goalie Madeline Wayland with just 1:50 left to play. The last minute goal may have seemed insignificant, but Senior sweeper Emma Callaghan said the way the team was able to play down the stretch will be important moving forward, even with the loss.
“It was definitely important for everyone’s spirit just to have that final goal,” she said. “I wish it could have happened sooner in the game; that way, we could have ended with a little more time with that intensity, but I feel like it helped everybody realized what potential we do have on the field.”
The Magicians have shown real signs of potential at times this season. They shut out Peabody in a 2-0 win on Sept. 6 and put on an offensive showing against Greater Lowell Tech, where they scored nine goals. This is something that both Callaghan and her coach realize; they just need to tap into it a little more.
“We just have to set our minds to it enough,” said Callaghan. “When people really start to figure out where they need to be on the field and get an understanding of what the other team is going to do, they can just really put their full heart into it.”
“We just have to have a consistent four quarters out there, and we have to keep our head in the game regardless of how the other team is playing,” Rice-Collins added.
The team will try to take the momentum of their strong fourth quarter into their Friday evening game when Swampscott comes to Piper Field at 4 p.m.
Ryan Vermette can be reached at [email protected]