BEAR – Padua’s nonconference field hockey battle at Caravel on Sept. 10 followed a distinct pattern. The host Bucs took control early in each half, but the Pandas took that away from them and found the net three times in a 3-0 shutout at Bob Peoples Stadium.
The Buccaneers came out pushing the pace on the turf, and a steal by Caitlin St. Leger in the first minute resulted in a penalty corner for the home team. Another corner at the 27-minute mark led to a shot, but Pandas keeper Shannon MacCormac was up to the task, registering a save.
Finally, nearly five minutes into the game, the Pandas managed their first offensive foray into Bucs territory. A penalty corner was not converted, but Padua started hitting its stride after that. The Pandas pushed the pace, and it paid dividends in another penalty corner. This time, Hayley Dempsey took a shot that did not reach the keeper, but Grace Mercer was in the right spot, poking the loose ball home for the 1-0 lead at the 18:47 mark.
The pressure continued, and it didn’t take long for Padua to strike once more. Angela Taglione inbounded a penalty corner to Dempsey, who wound up for a shot. Taglione caught a piece of the ball on the way in, and it beat Caravel goalkeeper Lexi Boettcher, who really had no chance on the play. The goal came with 12:51 remaining in the half.
MacCormac came up with two huge saves late in the half, and the Pandas caught a break after St. Leger split two defenders and nearly sent a shot into the cage. The lead was a pair at intermission.
The Bucs emerged for the second half in a higher gear, taking the play to the Pandas. MacCormac had another big stop, and on the resulting penalty corner, a Bucs shot squeaked by the senior keeper, but a defender was there to keep the ball out. Megan North nearly got Caravel on the board three minutes into the second half on a penalty stroke, but her shot hit MacCormac in the right arm and clanged off the post.
The Pandas didn’t generate a bunch of second-half chances, but the capitalized on their opportunities. Taglione found Dempsey with a long outlet pass, and Dempsey split two defenders before beating Boettcher for the final goal.
MacCormac had one more big save with 1:25 left in the contest. North was the victim again, as her high blast was saved.
Caravel outshot the Pandas, 11-7, and had eight corners to six for Padua. The Pandas (1-1) are off for a week before visiting Archmere on Sept. 17 at 3:45 p.m. The Bucs (1-2) travel to Wilmington Charter at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.