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Ursuline scores three in second half to shut out stingy St. Mark’s in field hockey

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Caroline Taylor (far left, in white) watches her shot sneak into the cage for the game's first goal. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

NEW CASTLE – Ursuline’s offense was in control throughout the afternoon, and in the second half the Raiders finally found a way to solve the St. Mark’s keeper in a 3-0 Catholic Conference field hockey win Sept. 26. Jane Lyons scored twice and added an assist in the win, which kept the Raiders undefeated this season; they are now 5-0.

This game, like the Raiders’ two other scheduled home contests, was moved from Serviam Field as recent rains have left that surface unplayable. The teams instead found refuge on the turf at Kirkwood Soccer Club.

St. Mark’s goalkeeper Abigail McIlvain kicks this Ursuline shot away in the first half of the teams’ game Wednesday. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Ursuline brought a senior-heavy roster into this season, while St. Mark’s has just three seniors and five freshmen on the big club. That may be one reason the change of venue didn’t seem to bother Ursuline, ranked fourth in Division II by 302Sports.com. They kept the ball away from the Spartans nearly the entire time, and the only things that kept the Raiders off the scoreboard in the first half were a stingy St. Mark’s defense and the goalkeeping of freshman Abigail McIlvain. The Raiders had 10 penalty corners and nine shots in the first half, and the Spartans played shorthanded for two minutes, yet it was scoreless at the half.

The second 30 minutes began much like the first. McIlvain turned away a few more shots, including a nice kick save on a Jordan Kenney effort. She also swatted away another chance with her waffleboard.

Ursuline finally converted at the 22:31 mark. On the fourth penalty corner of the half, Lyons took the ball outside the scoring circle and found Caroline Taylor. She dribbled closer and sent a waist-high shot into the cage for the 1-0 lead.

St. Mark’s picked up its offense after the goal, making several trips into Raiders territory. The offenses from both teams, however, played second fiddle to the defense, and as the clock ticked down, Taylor’s goal stood as the only one.

Julia Copeman winds up for the Raiders.

Lyons added an insurance marker with 2:10 to go. Working off another corner, Kenney waited patiently for Lyons to get into position in front of the cage, then fed her with a nice cross. The shot was true, low and to the right. Lyons added the final tally with 24 seconds remaining.

The Raiders finished with 21 shots and 19 corners, and goalkeeper Cleo Troy finished with her fourth straight shutout. Ursuline will try once more to get a game in at Serviam on Tuesday, when St. Georges is scheduled to visit for a 3:45 p.m. tilt.

St. Mark’s (0-4) will attempt to break into the win column on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Newark Charter School.

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