Home Local Sports Stingy defense carries Tower Hill field hockey by Archmere: Photo gallery

Stingy defense carries Tower Hill field hockey by Archmere: Photo gallery

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Bella Dell'Oso rushes upfield for the Auks at Tower Hill. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — An early goal set the tone for Tower Hill in their field hockey game against Archmere on Oct. 20. A.J. Hehir scored just 1:51 into the opening quarter, and the Hillers withstood relentless Archmere pressure for most of the game on the way to a 3-1 upset in bright sunshine.

After Hehir’s goal, the Auks took control of the ball and kept it for nearly the entire first quarter. They had numerous restarts, but they were unable to generate any shots on Tower goalkeeper Therese Lucian by the end of the first quarter. The Hillers kept them at bay by packing the defense near the keeper and disrupting the Auks’ passing lanes.

The second quarter opened with a two-on-one rush for the Auks, but Lucian was able to poke the ball away from Carly Polsky as she neared the front of the cage. After that, the Hillers found some offense. They missed wide on a penalty corner opportunity, and a few passes toward the goal rolled over the end line. Tower’s defense came up big with about a minute left in the half, with a defender clearing a loose ball from the front of the net before Archmere’s Bella Dell’Oso could cause any damage.

The Auks had two penalty corners in the third quarter, but their best scoring chance was tipped wide with about 6:30 left. Tower Hill took the one-goal advantage into the final 15 minutes.

A penalty corner for Archmere was unsuccessful early in the fourth, and the Hillers turned it into an offensive rush of their own. The play ended with 10:09 remaining when Elizabeth Barr took a turnaround shot from the left of Auks goalkeeper Ava Hughes’ and scored on the short side to make it 2-0.

After Lucian stopped an Emma Gioffre offering, the Hillers added some insurance. Archmere had a penalty corner with about 6:30 to go, but everything went Tower’s way. The inbounds pass skipped past several Auks and rolled past midfield, where Caitlin Smith got ahead of the Auks’ defense. She rushed in and fired a shot into the right side of the cage at the 6:09 mark.

Dell’Oso prevented a shutout with a goal with 24 seconds remaining. After Lucian stopped a shot, Dell’Oso was positioned perfectly to take the rebound and fire into the back of the cage.

Each team had 10 shots. Lucian had five saves as Tower Hill improved to 4-6. The Hillers are home on Saturday against St. Andrew’s at 11 a.m.

Hughes had four saves for the Auks. Archmere (11-2) remain on the road with a game at Newark Charter on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.

Photos by Mike Lang.