WILMINGTON – Nina Budischak scored midway through the first half as Ursuline defeated archrival Padua, 1-0, in Catholic Conference field hockey Tuesday afternoon. It was the first loss this season for the sixth-ranked Pandas and revenge for the No. 9 Raiders, who lost to Padua on Sept. 26.
The game’s lone score came with 16:01 remaining in the first half, occurring on the Raiders’ third penalty corner. The ball was loose in front of Padua goalkeeper Hailey Power, and after a bit of a scramble, Budischak gained control and flicked the ball about waist-high to the left of Power.
Ursuline (10-3-1) dominated possession for the remainder of the first half, but Padua regained its composure at halftime. The Pandas (12-1-1) took control early in the half, earning numerous penalty corners that they could not convert. Shots were at a premium, but when called on, Ursuline goalkeeper Kate Casey was equal to the task. Her biggest save came with 14:15 to go when she booted a Padua shot following a breakaway.
Power kept the deficit at one with a nice save late in the half. Ursuline’s defense kept the Pandas out of the scoring circle for nearly the final five minutes, but Padua had one final opportunity as the clock neared zeros. A free hit from the 25-yard line with 21 seconds left skipped into the circle, where several Pandas awaited. Padua’s Jill Sherman emerged from a whirlwind of activity with the ball to Casey’s left, but her scoring attempt rolled inches wide of the cage. Four seconds later, the horn sounded.
Casey stopped all seven Padua shots, while Ursuline managed three shots. The Pandas had 10 penalty corners, most in the second half, to Ursuline’s nine. Ursuline, winners of three straight and eight of its last nine, will host Charter on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.in the Raiders’ regular-season finale. Padua will try to end the regular season on a winning note when the team visits Charter on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.