Home Local Sports Wilmington Charter field hockey edges Saint Mark’s: Photo gallery

Wilmington Charter field hockey edges Saint Mark’s: Photo gallery

The Spartans' Marcelle Kappas (11) puts this shot past Kaylee Hudson for their only goal of the afternoon. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — In the middle of Wilmington Charter’s field hockey game against Saint Mark’s on Oct. 17, the sunny skies gave way to dark clouds. But the day was bright for the Force’s Marie Brainard, who scored both of her team’s goals in a 2-1 win over the Spartans.

The two tallies gave Brainard, a senior, 50 for her career at Charter. She is the only player in program history to reach 50.

The teams battled through a scoreless first half. Saint Mark’s defense came to play, rejecting all of the Force’s offensive chances and a half-dozen penalty corners. Spartans goalkeeper Jenna League turned away a backhanded shot with about a minute to go, and the Force had a penalty corner to close out the half, but they were unable to get a shot off.

The Spartans’ best chance in the first half came late in the first quarter. After a steal, the Spartans had a shot deflected, but Force goalkeeper Kaylee Hudson made the stop.

Charter controlled play in the first part of the third quarter, but Saint Mark’s turned the momentum around and earned three penalty corners in a four-minute span. The final one, with under two minutes to go in the third, was passed around the edge of the circle, and a shot by Katie Hanich was tipped by Marcelle Kappas into the cage with 1:22 to go.

The Force put immediate pressure on the Spartans, and it paid dividends at the end of the quarter. The home team earned a penalty corner, and with time expired, Brainard was fouled as she reached for a loose ball. She was awarded a penalty stroke, and although League got a piece of the ball, it crossed the line to tie the score heading into the final 15 minutes.

It was all Force in the opening minutes, as they picked up two more chances on the penalty corner. On the second, League made a kick save on Brainard, but Brainard followed her shot and was able to poke the rebound to League’s right for the eventual winning goal.

Saint Mark’s opportunities to tie the score took a hit when a player was dealt a yellow card, forcing the Spartans to play five minutes of the final seven-plus a player down. Nevertheless, Hanich came within inches of leveling the game with a shot that rolled just wide left with about 3:40 to go.

Hudson had five saves for Wilmington Charter, who had a 14-11 shot advantage and took 13 penalty corners to seven for the Spartans. The Force (9-1) are home Wednesday night against Conrad at 6 p.m.

League had four saves for the Spartans, who fell to 7-4. They visit A.I. DuPont on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

All photos by Mike Lang.