Notre Dame Prep’s offense started a little slow in Wednesday afternoon’s field hockey game against Bryn Mawr before Sienna Klein gave the No. 11 Blazers the jolt they needed just before the half.
Klein scored on a penalty stroke with no time left in the second quarter and that sparked the host Blazers to a 3-2 victory over the No. 10 Mawrtians in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference opener for both teams.
The Mawrtians, in their first game of the season, rallied with two goals in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers (3-0) had managed just enough offense to hold the lead thanks in part to Klein’s goal.
“I think it really gave us a spark,” said Klein’s teammate Kira Bobian, who scored twice in the third quarter. “It gave us confidence and it really helped us get the ball up the field throughout the rest of the game.”
Klein, a junior midfielder, said she knew where she was going to place the stroke as soon as she stepped to the line. She fired the ball into the bottom left of the cage.
“I always try to plan it out,” she said. “I have been practicing them … so I was excited when the opportunity came.”
The Blazers kept the momentum going with a dominant third quarter. They had four penalty corners and out-shot the Mawrtians, 8-1, in the quarter
“The penalty stroke changed the momentum for sure,” NDP coach Katrina Ross said. “They definitely had us on our heels in the first quarter, but as a team, that was the defense we’ve played. We didn’t give up a corner and we kept to our plan and one of our plans was we need to play good disciplined defense.”
The Blazers are still young on defense, but they had fine performances from juniors Kaitlyn Cody and Grace Aubele, and sophomores Addison Carey and Sophia Ledesma as well as junior goalie Kerigan Ross, who had eight saves.
On the other end of the field, junior forward Bobian made her presence known in the circle. She scored twice in less than two minutes by positioning herself close to Mawrtians goalie Alex de Jesus, who finished with nine saves.
Bobian stood in front of de Jesus when she took a long pass from Carey, stopped it and then swiped the ball into the right corner with 6:53 left in the quarter.
On her second goal, with 5:06 to go, Bobian snatched a ball that a Bryn Mawr defender was trying to clear out of the circle, turned with it and slipped it between de Jesus’s feet.
“She just has great finesse and touch on the ball,” Katrina Ross said, “and just around the keepers, she’s got great sense, but she’s been working really hard year-round on becoming that effective forward and creating opportunities for the entire team.”
In the final quarter, NDP’s defense got quite a workout in holding off the Mawtians as they seized the momentum. Klein had another penalty stroke early in the quarter, but she fired a bit too far wide.
After that it was all Bryn Mawr.
Addison Polakoff scored both goals in the final 7:48. Her first came on a penalty corner when she drove Clara Espenshade’s corner pass from the top of the circle straight down the middle of the circle. For her second goal, she brought the ball into the circle and fired another long shot into the cage with 3:04 to go.
The Mawrtians had another good chance to score on a penalty corner with 1:24 to go, but Polkoff couldn’t get her shot through the Blazers’ defense.
Budzik said she moved players around and changed formation to try to jump start the offense. She’s still trying to find the best fit, especially for their young players.
“It was the first game and lessons were learned right away,” Budzik said, “and one is you’ve got to come out strong right from the start and you have to make adjustments, but the biggest thing is you can come back … I’m glad they came back, because it showed them that they have the ability to do that.”
NO. 11 NOTRE DAME PREP 3, NO. 10 BRYN MAWR 2
BM 0 0 0 2 — 2
NDP 0 1 2 0 — 3
GOALS: BM—Addison Polakoff 2, NDP—Kira Bobian 2, Sienna Klein.
ASSISTS: BM—Clara Espenshade; NDP—Addison Carey.
SAVES: BM—Alex deJesus 10, Makenzie Fisher 1; NDP—Kerigan Ross 8.