WILMINGTON — Ava Getty scored on a turnaround goal just a few minutes into the first quarter, and that was enough for Padua as the Pandas opened their field hockey season with a 1-0 victory over Ursuline on Oct. 23 at Serviam Field.
The Pandas, who have reached the state championship game in Division I the past two years, came out pressing the action against the Raiders. They managed a few good chances, and five minutes in, the pressure resulted in a penalty corner. The inbounds pass went to senior Anna Getty, who sent it into the circle toward her younger sister. Ana Getty found the loose ball about eight yards out to the right of Raiders goalkeeper Stephanie Kulengusky, and Getty whirled and sent the ball to the far corner. The Pandas kept the pressure on until halftime, but that was the only tally.
Kulengusky came up with a huge save with less than five minutes remaining in the first. A Panda broke through the defense, but Kulengusky was able to reject the shot with a big kick. Right at the end of the quarter, a long Pandas pass was kicked away before any damage could be done.
They kept the heat coming into the second quarter. Kulengusky came up with a big save on a penalty corner at the 11-minute mark, and she added two more kick saves on corners on shots by Anna Getty and Abigail Brainard.
Ursuline got its offense going after intermission. The Raiders sent one on Padua goalkeeper Juliana DelliCompagni on a restart a few minutes in, but the keeper sent it right back out of the circle. Isabella Koechert found herself one-on-one against DelliCompagni with about seven minutes to go in the third, but a Pandas defender spoiled the opportunity with a nice back check. The Raiders had their first penalty corner shortly thereafter, but they could not manage a shot.
Padua had a chance to add an insurance goal with two minutes to go when Anna Getty was awarded a penalty stroke, but Raiders keeper Samantha Hurd lunged to her left to get a foot on Getty’s shot.
Padua had a 10-2 shot advantage and earned seven penalty corners to the Raiders’ 2. The Pandas (1-0) return to the field Monday at 3:45 against St. Elizabeth at Hockessin Montessori School.
For Ursuline, Kulengusky had seven saves, and Hurd added three. The Raiders fell to 1-2 and look to return to the win column on Monday, when Saint Mark’s visits Serviam Field for a 3:45 p.m. start.
All photos by Jason Winchell.