WILMINGTON – Ursuline’s field hockey team traveled to Charter of Wilmington on Oct. 26 having dropped its last two games, so the Raiders needed a win to push their winning percentage back over .500 and pick up valuable points that may determine whether they make the state tournament. They delivered, putting up a solid defensive effort and scoring a 2-0 victory on a cold afternoon.
Neither offense could get much going in the opening minutes, but Ursuline got on the board first at the 22:05 mark of the first half. Teddie Elliman stole a Force pass and passed the ball into the circle. Juliana Copeman sent the ball toward the cage, where Anna Shearer emerged with it and scored from in close.
Charter turned up the pressure as the half progressed. The Force sent a shot off the side of the cage at the midway point, and they earned their first penalty corner two minutes later, although they could not convert.
The chances continued to come for Charter. One pass rolled through the crease and hopped on the natural grass surface over an attacker’s stick, followed by a free hit that went just wide.
Charter had two opportunities on a breakaway with less than two minutes to go in the half, but Raiders goalie Cleo Troy made a pair of kick saves. A shot on a resulting penalty corner was deflected just wide.
The Raiders came out of intermission with renewed vigor, controlling possession for most of the second half after a few early chances for Charter. The tightened defense resulted in three penalty corners for Ursuline in the first nine minutes, and the Raiders capitalized on the final one. Jordan Kenney played the ball in to Jane Lyons, whose shot may have deflected off the stick of a Force defender on its way to the back of the cage with 20:47 left on the clock.
Charter struggled to get its offense going after that, as every foray upfield was met by multiple Raiders defenders. The Force nearly got on the board with less than five minutes to go, but a Raiders defender kept it from crossing the line.
The Raiders had six shots to Charter’s four, and their five corners were one more than the Force. They close the regular season Friday at 3:45 p.m. at St. Mark’s, then will wait to see if a state tournament bid is in their future. Charter lost its third straight and fell to 6-6. The Force will finish the season with three consecutive road contests, the first of which is Friday at Archmere at 3:45 p.m.