WILMINGTON – Padua’s field hockey team was the second-to-last in the state to play this season, and on Sept. 20 it looked like the extra wait was worth it. The Pandas, ranked third in Division I by 302Sports.com, owned possession throughout their contest and managed to collect one goal in a 1-0 win over Archmere.
The Pandas were in control from the beginning, collecting a penalty corner in the first minute and three in the first 10 minutes. They went ahead on the third corner. A Padua shot was blocked, but the loose ball trickled behind Auks keeper Maura Smeader. Aliya Curran was there to pick up the loose change and deposit it through a defender and into the cage for the early lead.
Archmere, the No. 6 team in Division II, struggled to advance the ball in the thick grass at Forbes Field. The Auks did not cross the midfield line for approximately the first 10 minutes, and when they threatened to advance, the Pandas used an aggressive forechecking game to stymie any opportunities.
Padua earned six more penalty corners before an Archmere timeout about 15 minutes in, but nothing came of them. The Pandas finished the first half with an unofficial total of 13 corners.
The Pandas kept the pressure on as the second half began, but neither team could generate many quality chances. The Auks finally had an opportunity to test Shannon McCormac in net about 10 minutes into the half, but the Pandas’ keeper made the kick save.
Lauren Ross nearly tied the contest late, but her shot rolled wide of the cage. She had one more chance a minute later, but she was smothered by Pandas defenders in the crease, ending the threat.
Statistics were not available late Thursday night, although the Pandas finished with 19 corners to the Auks’ two. Padua (1-0) takes on St. Elizabeth on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. on the turf at Hockessin Montessori School.
Archmere fell to 1-3 and will try to turn things around beginning next Friday at 3:45 p.m., also against St. Elizabeth at Hockessin Montessori.