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Five seniors celebrated as field hockey shuts out Calverton


Staff writer

Five St. Mary’s Ryken field hockey seniors were celebrated before its home contest with The Calverton School Cougars on Thursday night.

It is those five seniors that head coach Tara Everly admitted have led the way.

Everly said that the mentality of the seniors has helped to the success and that fact showed in its 3-0 victory over Calverton.

“They are really dedicated,” Everly said of the seniors. “They are a nice group of kids. You tell them to do something and they do it and you just can’t buy that. There are not a lot of attitudes and it isn’t just about one player, it’s about everybody. We talk about playing not as 11 people, but as one unit. … Those five set the tone as far as that is concerned.”

That unselfish tone was seen throughout the victory on Thursday as Ryken (8-5, 4-1) used passing and possession to score its first goal, a Bella Evans-Riester score on an assist from Katie Pappas, in the first half.

Pappas also assisted on a Kristen Cedar goal early in the second half to take a 2-0 lead.

“We played some good space balls,” Everly said of the team’s offense. “We didn’t really try to dribble through everybody or try to come down the middle, we tried to spread the field and that opened it up a lot so that we could get some really nice cross-balls.”

Eileen Walsh added the third and final goal for the Knights.

Cedar was also one of the five seniors celebrated on Thursday.

“This is amazing,” Cedar said of the night, “and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Senior defender and captain Julia Bowling admitted it would have been embarrassing losing the senior night game but a win not only felt good but helps continue to build steam for the late-season stretch.

“I think we’re together as a team,” Bowling said. “I think we just have to keep that in our minds and just play each game like we know how to play. We have to play each game as if they are the best team we’ve ever played. We just have to keep it up.”

Amanda Carroll, Macy McNair and Allie Rixey were the other remaining seniors honored on Thursday night as they and the Knights look to finish off the regular and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference season in position to host one or two playoff games.

“Just always trying to bring them back to reality and taking it one game at a time,” Everly said of what it will take to close out strong. “We have to stay focused and look to the next game. We just have to be in the moment and we have to get through tonight before we can get to tomorrow.”

Calverton head coach Erica Suitch continued to remain positive after the loss on Thursday night.

“Throughout the season we have been working hard,” she said, “and lately we have been working on conditioning because we have such a small amount of girls and only two to three subs a game. But, the effort they put in tonight was beyond anything I have ever expected.”

Suitch also took time to mention the play of goalie Julia Rycna, who totaled eight saves for the Cougars (0-6) who do not play in a league

“She is always exceptional,” Suitch said. “Julia is one of those players that I rarely have to correct. She is very self-motivated and she really gives 100 percent every day in practice, games and everything.”

Ryken was back on the field against St. John’s of Washington, D.C., in a WCAC matchup, winning 1-0 in penalty strokes.