Beach Middle School Field Hockey Has Busy Week
The Beach Middle School field hockey team faced off against Saline on Tuesday, September 29th with a narrow 2-1 loss.
Midfielder Teresa Smith converted a corner opportunity, knocking in a swift goal during the first quarter, assisted by Braiden Scheffler. Goalie Naomi Ratliff helped the team hold the lead through the first half.
The Hornets surged ahead during the second half, picking up four offensive corners and gaining the lead with 2 goals. Defenders Ava-Reese Hagen, Arianna Reginaldo, Sabrina Westcott, and Grace Kapolka worked tirelessly to clear the ball out of the defensive third of the field.
In midfield and attack positions, Slater Boos, Emily Heiss, and Lindsey Partyka were quick on their feet, sending the ball through seams into open pockets to their teammates.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs enjoyed a full afternoon of games against Saline as well as teams fielded by the Ann Arbor-area field hockey clubs Pinnacle and Fer De Lance (FDL) during the Dexter Middle School Challenge.
Chelsea kicked off the tournament against FDL, demonstrating a strong defensive presence by allowing only one goal despite seven corner opportunities by FDL; the game concluded with a 1-0 win by FDL.
Goalie Lily Speiss and defenders Abbie Nye and Kapolka doggedly blocked FDL’s attempts to score during the first half, while midfielders Westcott and Brinna Wenzel navigated the ball to teammates moving toward the scoring circle.
During game two, Chelsea matched up against Saline.
In the first half, Keygan Monahan connected on a rebound shot off of the goalie’s pads, leading the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory.
Defenders Kaitlin Kubicki, Caitlin Ash, and Scheffler worked in sync with the goalies, including Emma Woodard in only her second game of the season, to clear the ball out of the scoring circle. Midfielders Kahlen Eckert and Reginaldo supported the team’s victory by effectively covering the middle field, consistently moving the ball to the Hornet’s defensive end.
Quickly transitioning fields, the Chelsea team’s third game was against the Pinnacle club team, which came out on top with a 2-0 win against the Bulldogs, scoring both goals during well-executed penalty corner plays.
Goalie Speiss blocked many hard shots, minimizing the goal differential. Players on the forward and midfield lines, including Heiss, Brenna Taylor, and Cecilia Bayer, were quick to the ball when breakaway opportunities emerged.
During the fourth and final game of the tournament, Chelsea faced off against Saline for the third time in the week in an evenly-matched contest that ended in a 2-2 tie during the regular game period.
After Saline scored during the first quarter, Azlyn Eckert tied the score during the second quarter with the Bulldog’s first goal of the game.
During the third quarter, Speiss fed the ball to Smith for the team’s second goal, then the Hornets tied the game with a goal in the fourth quarter. Lucy Taylor’s solid stick skills and Maddy McCollum’s strong pressuring of Saline attackers kept the ball in play along the sides of the field in Chelsea’s defensive end.
The game concluded with an exciting 3-person shootout, with Monahan, Smith, and Scheffler taking the shots for the Bulldogs. Despite Smith’s successful shot on goal, the Hornets came out on top by netting two goals during the shootout. Kudos to Goalie Woodard for her valiant play during both the regular game period and shootout.
Thanks to Kaitlin Kubicki and Abbie Nye for creating a festive atmosphere by making goodie bags for teammates and to the “Secret Sisters” who brought candy, gifts, and posters decorated with words of encouragement. The team would like to thank Dexter Field Hockey, in particular Head Coach Keely Tamer, for providing this tournament play opportunity for middle school players by organizing the annual Dexter Middle School Challenge.