- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Senior Katie O’Hare plays as a defender on the St. Mary’s Ryken Knights field hockey team.
Over the last four games, O’Hare might as well be a bricklayer to what she calls a “big wall” of a defense.
With a 5-0 home victory over The Calverton School on Wednesday afternoon, O’Hare, her defense and the Knights earned a fourth straight victory via shutout.
“That’s a big accomplishment,” O’Hare said of her defense. “Honestly, it’s been about us talking to each other and really knowing where each other are. We have a really strong back and we’re just a big wall, I guess. I think we have a perfect player for each spot, which most of the time you don’t have.”
The shutouts began on Sept. 26 with a 2-1 win, in penalty strokes, over Saints Peter and Paul High School from Talbot County after regulation ended in a 0-0 tie.
Identical 4-0 victories over Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rivals Bishop O’Connell (Va.) on Saturday and Elizabeth Seton, from Prince George’s County, on Monday followed. And the streak was extended with the win on Wednesday over Calverton.
The Knights face Calverton again today, this time on the Cougars’ home field at 4:30 p.m.
“I feel like they are playing together as a team and kind of learning to depend on each other in figuring out where they are going to be,” Ryken head coach Tara Everly said. “That’s been helpful as we have changed lineups and moved people around in trying to figure out that jell.”
Ryken (6-4, 4-2 WCAC) jumped on the board when Megan Hane knocked home a Grace Goodley crossing pass with just over 18 minutes remaining in the first half.
After a Darcy Garner goal three minutes later, Hane scored her second goal of the game with 10 minutes 47 seconds left, which allowed Ryken to enter halftime with a 3-0 lead.
Even with her goals, however, Hane spoke of her defense and how the back unit has played its role in helping earn win after win.
“It definitely boosts us up to see that they are going above and beyond in doing their parts,” Hane said of the defense. “It really gives you that extra drive to just do the best that you can and return the favor for what they are doing.”
Wednesday’s victory marked the fifth game in a week for Hane and Knights, who went 4-1 in that stretch.
“We have played three games a week or more for the past two weeks and with us being together all of the time, it’s a such a bond that we have formed,” Hane said. “We are like a unit and it’s awesome.”
The Knights added two more goals as MacKenzie Tourville scored with 15:15 remaining in regulation and Elizabeth Tennyson scored 45 seconds later, taking the score to 5-0.
But even with a win by a large margin, Everly believed that there are lessons to be taken away in order for her team to improve as the season continues.
“I felt at the beginning of the game, we came out with low intensity,” Everly said. “It’s just about learning to approach every game with the same intensity and giving 100 percent. They can relax on the sidelines, but when they’re out there, it doesn’t matter what the score is, you can still do your job as best you can.”
Calverton head coach Erica Suitch praised the job of first-year goalie Brooke Dooley, who finished with 10 saves.
Dooley made the switch to defending the cage after playing in the field last year.
“Brooke has been trying really hard and she stepped into the position with no questions asked,” Suitch said. “She is a really good fit for the position.”
As far as her team’s efforts on a whole, Suitch admitted that the team is headed in the right direction.
“The girls gave 100 percent and they are trying hard,” she said. “We’re at a stage right now where we are trying to rebuild, but we’re taking steps to getting us there. As a whole, we’re working on self-confidence and things like that. We do have the potential to be in games and we’ve been in a lot of games this year.”
Calverton, an independent team in field hockey, is 1-5 overall.
St. Mary’s Ryken 5, Calverton 0
Calverton 0 0
Ryken 3 2
Goals: Ryken (Hane 2, Garner, Tourville, Tennyson)
Saves: Calverton (Dooley 10); Ryken (Bain 0)