WILMINGTON — Archmere put on a strong defensive effort, but the Auks’ field hockey regular season ended with a 2-0 loss at Tower Hill on Oct. 29. The Auks finished the year 6-8-1.
Archmere opened with possession, and the Auks nearly converted that into an immediate goal. Hillers goalkeeper Linsey Palma was forced to make a save just seconds into the contest, and when the ball deflected over the end line, the Auks had themselves a penalty corner opportunity. Archmere got a shot off, but the ball stayed out of the cage.
It would be Tower Hill on the offensive much of the time after that. A penalty corner paid dividends with 20:20 remaining in the half. Sarah Zungailia took the inbounds pass and sent a shot along the turf. Jennifer Cleary got her stick down for a deflection, and the ball sailed high over the head of Auks keeper Maura Smeader for the 1-0 lead.
The Hillers had five more corners during the half, but the Auks turned away each of them. Smeader kept her team’s deficit at a single goal when, with two minutes remaining in the half, she made a diving save on a two-on-one.
Tower took possession to open the second half and kept it for several minutes. Another penalty corner resulted in the second goal. This time, Grace Nestor brought the ball into the scoring circle and sent a pass to Zungailia, who was stationed at the right post. Zungailia tapped the ball into the open cage with 24:25 left in the game.
The Auks had some chances to cut into the lead, but shots rolled just wide or were tightly contested by the Hillers’ defense. Tower had two goals waved off midway through the half, and the Auks had one of their own disallowed. Smeader also came up with another acrobatic save, doing the splits to keep a shot out.
The Hillers outshot the Auks, 15-2, and had an 11-1 edge in penalty corners. Palma made two saves. Tower Hill improved to 9-4-1 and closes out its regular season on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Independent Conference rival Wilmington Friends.
Just two Auks, Rebekah Kehoe and Meghan Lairdeson, are graduating this year.