WILMINGTON – It came about five weeks later than originally anticipated, but the Ursuline field hockey team wasn’t complaining after defeating St. Elizabeth, 7-1, in the teams’ season opener on Oct. 19 at Serviam Field. Seven different Raiders scored on their home field, although they were not the home team.
Not only was the start of the season delayed, the afternoon had a different look than normal. The players wore masks, as mandated by the state, and had their temperatures checked before the action began. No spectators were allowed inside the gate, although a few peeked through for a glimpse of the action. The game consisted of 15-minute quarters instead of 30-minute halves.
What they saw was a Raiders team with a lot of experience that took control early and kept the ball on its offensive side of the field for most of the first half. The Vikings kept Ursuline at bay for a few minutes, but Chloe Dandurand poked one past goalkeeper Julie Aranilla with 9:08 to go. After a near-miss 40 seconds later, the Raiders struck again at the 6:34 mark when Julia Thiemann took a crossing pass and sent one into the back of the cage. Hope Kenney scored on a turnaround shot later in the quarter, and it was 3-0 after one.
Sophia Shroyer picked up her first goal of the year just 39 seconds into the second with a long seeing-eye shot from the top of the circle. The Raiders increased the lead to 5-0 when Lauren Dorsey tipped one over the line late in the half.
Freshman Alexa Gallagher got on the scoreboard with a breakaway goal as Ursuline substituted liberally in the second half. The Vikings battled, however, and their work paid off at the 4:17 mark. St. Elizabeth earned a penalty corner, and out of a multi-player gathering in front of Raiders goalkeeper Sadie Young, Ellie Rock poked a loose ball over the line.
Ursuline outshot the Vikings, 21-2, and had six penalty corners to two. The Raiders (1-0) travel to Caravel on Wednesday for a 6:15 p.m. start.
Aranilla made 14 saves. St. Elizabeth (0-1) will play at Saint Mark’s on Thursday afternoon at 3:45.
All photos by Mike Lang.