Home Local Sports Padua field hockey remains unbeaten with second-half burst

Padua field hockey remains unbeaten with second-half burst

Hayley Dempsey races Wilmington Charter keeper Gabby Simmons to the ball. Dempsey scored the first Padua goal on the play. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — Padua and Wilmington Charter put on a defensive battle for most of their nonconference field hockey game on Oct. 9, but for one minute, it was an offensive show, and that was the difference. The Pandas scored twice in a 53-second span midway through the second half and remained undefeated with a 2-0 win at Forbes Field.

The Force was matching Padua as the defenses took over from the start in this one. Every Pandas offensive foray was met with an equally aggressive defensive effort. But Padua finally broke through with 16:57 left to go in the game.

Sophia Gulotti of Charter goes high to try to steal this pass as Padua’s Abigail Brainard watches. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

A long shot went into the scoring circle and made it to the feet of Force keeper Gabby Simmons. It deflected off her pads and rolled to a near-stop in the grass just along the goal line. Hayley Dempsey was there to tap it into the cage for the 1-0 lead. Riley Hickox got credit for the assist.

Almost before the crowd had finished applauding that tally, Padua struck again. The Pandas took control of the ball after their first goal and worked it down low to the left of Simmons. Angela Taglione sent a pass through the crease, and Reagan Widmaier one-timed a pretty backhanded shot high into the net.

The Padua defense, which surrendered its first two goals of the season on Sunday in an overtime win against Ursuline, was back to its stingy ways against the Force. The Pandas allowed just two shots, both of which were rejected by goalkeeper Shannon McCormac. The Pandas now have six shutouts in seven games.

Jenna Brady attempts to control a loose ball.

Padua managed seven shots, and the Pandas had eight penalty corners to the Force’s four. The Pandas (7-0) begin a three-game road trip at Dickinson on Monday at 3:45 p.m.

The Force suffered just their second loss to go along with seven wins. They are home Thursday against Tower Hill at 3:30 p.m.