BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Defense figured to be at the forefront when Concord traveled to Forbes Field to meet Padua in a matchup of top-10 Division I field hockey programs on Sept. 27. Both offenses had opportunities, but only the Pandas found the cage as Padua fought for the 1-0 victory.
Concord, the seventh-ranked team according to 302Sports.com, had given up just six goals in seven games heading into the matchup with Padua. Of their six wins, four had been by shutout. No. 3 Padua, meanwhile, was playing just its third game of the season, and the Pandas have yet to surrender a goal.
The Pandas had the better of the play through most of the first half, but the Raiders’ defense, backstopped by goalkeeper Cece Gillis, would not break. Padua earned 10 penalty corners in the half, and they had some decent chances to score off of them. Gillis turned away one shot, a few went wide, and one was tipped over the cage. One shot, also off a corner, got through Gillis, but it stopped short of the goal line in the grass and was cleared by the defense.
Concord asserted itself in the last few minutes of the half, but Pandas keeper Shannon McCormac was equal to the task. The teams were scoreless at intermission.
The Pandas came out in control again in the second, and about seven minutes into the half they earned their 11th penalty corner. This time, Gillis picked up another save, but the rebound landed on the stick of Karson Curran, and the senior was able to poke it past Gillis for the only score.
The Raiders earned their first penalty corner of the game a short time later, but the Pandas’ defenders were there to block the scoring attempt. McCormac used her reach later in the half to knock a crossing pass away from the dangerous Raiders scorer, Casey Best.
There were a few more chances to tie as the clock wound down as Concord took control of the final six minutes or so. One shot was lifted a bit high over McCormac, and another cross rolled through the crease. Three more corners before the horn also were not successful.
Padua had eight shots to Concord’s three, and the corners favored the Pandas, 11-4. Padua is off until Monday, when they host another Blue Hen Flight A team, William Penn, at 3:45 p.m. at Forbes Field.
Concord (6-2) saw its five-game winning streak come to an end. The Raiders return home for the first time in six games on Tuesday as Milford visits for a 3:45 p.m. start.