Field hockey beats Eagles in rain
Parkland came away with a 3-2 win over Nazareth on Tuesday, but it certainly wasn’t easy. The game started in a downpour that eventually slowed to a light rain that continued throughout the game, making the field conditions less than desirable. The win was important to get Parkland back on track after a disappointing 3-3 tie with Pocono Mountain East (2-5-1 in the EPC, 4-5-2 overall) on Saturday.
“I was really happy,” said coach Lizzy Millen of the win. “I was nervous with the weather. I didn’t know if they would be like ‘oh, it’s wet,’ so right away I told them ‘it’s wet for everybody, so get over that.’ They were actually really excited about it and they played well and so did Nazareth.”
Jenna Lysakowski, Grace Royer and Rachel Rizzetto each scored in the first half as the Lady Trojans (4-3-1, 7-3-1) held a 3-1 lead after the first 30 minutes of play.
Parkland had plenty of opportunities and spent much of the time putting pressure on Nazareth goalie Ashley Gangewere, who made 10 saves in the game. Most of the opportunities were shots that got turned away or went wide of the goal.
“I just thought we got a little too excited and the adrenaline was rushing and they didn’t make the best decisions and that’s what happens,” said Millen. “They’re young and they’re learning and we work on it in practice, so I’m confident that we’ll keep progressing,” said Millen.
Nazareth (6-5, 7-5) started to put more pressure on Parkland goalie Brie Barraco and eventually, Lauren Resh was able to get one past Barraco with just over 13 minutes to play, making it a 3-2 game. The two teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the game, but none of the pressure from either team resulted in goals, allowing Parkland to walk away with the win.
Senior Maddie Pope was involved in a lot of the pressure that Parkland put on the Blue Eagles throughout the game and thought that the conditions made it tough to get well-placed shots.
“Since it was slippery, it was hard to get a touch on the ball,” said Pope. “But we talked about it at halftime and we came out stronger.”
Millen has found that Pope serves as somewhat of a coach on the team thanks to her ability to see plays developing and make things happen.
“She is a vital piece in our lineup and she just has so much control on the ball,” said Millen. “She’s very patient and she reads the plays well and that’s what I love. She’s very tactically sound. Maddie Pope is just a huge asset to our team.”
According to Pope, there was never a concern by the players about the weather. Her and her teammates were anxious to return to the field and erase their Saturday performance against Pocono Mountain East, which wasn’t up to the team’s usual standards. As for her knack for being in the right place at the right time, the senior believes it’s just something that she’s been able to develop during her playing time at Parkland.
“Just playing a lot helps and I just always look to help wherever I can and that opens up some opportunities,” Pope explained.
Parkland travels to Whitehall Thursday to play a Lady Zephyrs team that suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday night to Emmaus. Parkland still has to play Whitehall twice over their final seven games of the season, including the final game of the season at home.
Next week, Parkland hosts Northampton and Lehighton. Earlier in the season, Parkland downed Northampton 4-1.