WILMINGTON — Padua scored three first-half goals, then relied on a stingy defense to defeat Saint Mark’s, 3-1, in field hockey on Oct. 25 at the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington. The Pandas, playing one of the more difficult schedules in the state, evened their record at 6-6.
Neither team could generate much offensively in the early going, but Padua took advantage of its first real opportunity. The Pandas were awarded a penalty corner about four minutes in, and Ava Getty, parked at the top of the scoring circle, converted the inbounds pass from Shannon Salerni into the game’s first goal.
The Pandas controlled the offense throughout the first quarter, but they were unable to generate any substantial chances. Saint Mark’s did come up with a defensive save in the final minute to keep the margin at one.
The Spartans increased the pressure in the second, earning two corners in the opening minutes, but they could not get anything on Pandas goalkeeper Taylor Kozink. The Pandas made them pay on a penalty corner, with Maddie Mosier sending a shot toward the net, and Kelsey Clauss getting a piece of it to send it into the cage with 8:38 to go in the half.
Kozink did have to make a few saves after that goal, including a big one-on-one stop after a turnover, but she kept the Spartans off the board. Clauss added to the Pandas’ lead with 1:18 left in the half, knocking in the rebound of a shot by Olivia Shimp.
The Spartans played five minutes of the third quarter shorthanded after a yellow card, but the Pandas could not add to their lead. They finally broke through offensively on a penalty corner. Riley Fleetwood sent a pass to the front of the cage to the right of the keeper, and Brynn Eyler was there to smack it home. They were unable to cut the lead any further, however.
Padua outshot the Spartans, 9-7, and they earned 13 penalty corners to six for Saint Mark’s. Kozink had six saves. The Pandas take on Delmar on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at DE Turf in Frederica. The Wildcats have won 109 straight games.
Jenna League made five saves for the Spartans, who are 8-5. They host Ursuline on Thursday at 3:45 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.