GREENVILLE — Hayley Dempsey scored two second-half goals to lead Padua field hockey to a 2-0 victory over Tatnall on Sept. 27.
The teams raced up and down the turf field in the first half, but the action produced few shots. Tatnall continually stymied the Pandas’ offense with withering pressure defense. Padua broke through a few times, but their best chance, off a penalty corner, was a shot that went wide of the cage midway through the half.
When Tatnall had possession, the Hornets moved the ball but struggled to set anything up. One shot off a restart was deflected wide.
It was the Pandas’ defense that led to their first goal. Summer Gearhart snatched a Hornets pass near midfield and dribbled toward the net. She found Dempsey, who chipped the ball past Tatnall goalkeeper Carlie McKenry with 27:01 left in the contest.
McKenry kept it a one-goal deficit with a save a minute later, and the Pandas kept the pressure on. A few shots rolled wide, and two penalty corners about a third of the way through the half were not fruitful.
Padua keeper Shannon MacCormac faced just one shot all afternoon, and it came with 14:45 left. MacCormac swatted that one aside, and that was it for the Hornets’ chances.
The Pandas’ pressure paid off with just six seconds left in the game. Dempsey found the ball among a crowd in front of McKenry, and her attempt barely crossed the goal line before a Hornets defender knocked it out. Anna Getty was credited with an assist.
Padua had four shots, and the Pandas held a 4-1 advantage in penalty corners. They improved to 5-2 and host Saint Mark’s on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at Forbes Field. Tatnall (4-2) begins a four-game road trip on Thursday at 3:45 against Wilmington Christian at Hockessin Montessori School.