BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Maybe it was the impending end of the regular season. Or senior day for the home team. Or just the beginning of a new week
“It’s a Monday,” said Archmere senior Kennedy Murphy. “I think we just needed to get a little more warmed up.”
Whatever the reason, Concord’s field hockey team came out in the first half of its game May 16 with Archmere and gave the Auks all they could handle, winning faceoffs and beating the visitors to ground balls. At intermission, Archmere’s lead stood at the slimmest of margins, 7-6.
But a different Archmere team fired out of the gates in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 87 seconds to put some distance between itself and Concord, then dominating the rest of the half on the way to a 19-9 win. Unofficially, Murphy scored four goals, tied with Olivia Baldi to lead the Auks.
“We talked during the half about picking up our hustle and picking up those ground balls. We came up with those, and it definitely paid off,” Murphy said. “We just knew what we had to do. Came back, got those quick goals, and then we had our game back.”
Madeline Marconi scored with six seconds remaining in the first half to close the gap to one, but that was as close as the Raiders would get the rest of the day. Archmere took the faceoff to open the second, and Baldi raced in and scored just 13 seconds in. The next two goals belonged to Anna Baxter, the first coming on a nice reverse as she cut in front of Raiders goalie Shelby Gold, the second on a bouncer.
Murphy added consecutive tallies, her third and fourth of the afternoon, one on an eight-meter opportunity. That made it six straight goals for the Auks, who could have had more had Gold not been as sharp as she was. After Marconi ended the Raiders’ drought, Archmere deposited the next four goals to make it 16-7. Presley Conaty scored the 16th after another faceoff win for the Auks, giving her a hat trick.
Sydney Yanick also had three for Archmere. The Auks improved to 11-3 heading into Tuesday’s 3:45 p.m. game against Tatnall. The regular-season finale also will be senior day for four Auks: Murphy, Conaty, Baxter and Sarah Bunting. Murphy said the team is eager to get into tournament play. Until then, the Auks know what they have to do.
“Just staying focused is our main goal,” Murphy said, “and work hard and stay humble but know that we can keep up with the big teams. Try and work our way up through the tournament.”
Archmere will find out this weekend where it is seeded and what the path toward the championship looks like.
Marconi had three goals for Concord, and Caroline Procak added two, including the first goal of the contest a mere 11 seconds in. The Raiders held the lead twice and were tied with the Auks five times in a first half played at a blistering pace. Concord finished its season at 7-7.