WILMINGTON – The final score of the Oct. 21 field hockey game between Concord and Padua at Forbes Field was 1-0 Pandas, but that is not indicative of just how dominating they were. Padua was in control of the ball all day, and but for some bad bounces and some scintillating plays by Raiders goalie Anya Marshall, this one could have ended up much, much more lopsided.
The teams played fairly evenly for the first 10 minutes, with the Raiders getting the game’s first two penalty corner opportunities, before the Pandas tilted the field in their favor. They picked up five penalty corners in quick succession, but Marshall made a save on one, and a shot went wide on another.
Padua used its quickness and defensive prowess to thwart the Raiders time and again, and the Pandas increased the offensive pressure as the first half proceeded. At one point, Marshall rejected a try by Katie Buczik, and Jill Sherman sent the rebound just wide of the cage.
The ninth and final Pandas penalty corner came as time expired, but the offensive team is given the opportunity to finish the play before the half is officially over. On this corner, Buczik sent the ball to Sherman, who dribbled it into the scoring circle and sent a slap shot in on goal. Ashlee Brentlinger got a piece of the ball, and it rolled past Marshall for the only tally of the afternoon.
The second half was all Padua, as the Pandas racked up another nine penalty corners, giving them 18 for the game against just the three for Concord. Marshall and the Raiders’ defense, however, would not allow another ball to cross the line.
There were a few close calls. Two shots early in the second half were deflected wide. On another offensive foray, a pass rolled through the crease untouched. Angela Taglione was stopped on a free hit, and another shot hit the post late in the contest. Marshall added two spectacular saves in the final minutes. On one play, Taglione found Buczik with a cross alone about five feet in front of the goalie, but Marshall’s quick leg kept that one out. A few minutes later, Taglione took a shot high and watched as Marshall threw up her left arm and deflected the ball off her waffleboard and then the crossbar.
Padua had 22 shots for the game. The Pandas (12-0) travel to St. Thomas More on Monday at 4:15 p.m. Concord (7-2-2) lost its second straight and will try to right the ship on Monday at 4 p.m. at Charter School of Wilmington.