(Nov. 1, 2013) When the Worcester Prep and Sts. Peter & Paul field hockey teams met during the regular season, the Lady Mallards came out on top 3-1 and 6-1.
The two squads went head-to-head for the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship trophy last Friday on the Mallards’ field in Berlin and the home team didn’t have as easy of a time earning a victory over the Sabres. But in the end, the Prep squad pulled out a 2-0 shutout to capture the ESIAC title for the second consecutive year.
“Sts. Peter & Paul definitely came to play and we had anticipated that,” said Mallards’ Coach Jenny Frostrom. “They were playing extremely tight defense. Our top scorers were heavily marked.”
Worcester fired off a number of shots in the first half, but Frostrom said Sts. Peter & Paul’s defense and goalie were on their game. There was no score at the halftime break. It was the first time this season the Mallards hadn’t scored in the first half of play and Frostrom said it was a little nerve-racking.
“We just didn’t get lucky in the first half,” Frostrom said. “I think the nerves had us a little bit in the first half, but we kind of settled into our own in the second half.”
Worcester maintained possession in their offensive end for a majority of the second half. The Mallards fought to get a goal and their efforts finally paid off. Senior captain Sarah Arrington saw senior Hannah Esham and junior Caroline Lindsay loosely marked in front of the Sts. Peter & Paul goal and that’s where she hit the ball.
“I saw they were there. I just waited for the perfect moment and hoped they got it in,” Arrington said.
Esham scored with 8:37 left in the contest.
“I knew we needed to get a goal in and it needed to be done quick. We had a perfect pass from Sarah Arrington and I just saw the ball come across the line and I sent it in,” Esham said. “It was so great to have that feeling and to know that we were on top. It set a whole new momentum for the game. It was the confidence we needed to get the next goal.”
At the 7:04 mark, junior Jordie Loomis blasted a shot past the Sabres’ goalie to give Worcester a two-goal cushion.
When the final whistle blew, the Mallards sprinted toward senior goalie Maddie Pilchard (two saves) to celebrate.
Following the game, the championship trophy was presented to Worcester.
“My senior year, there’s nothing more I’d want. It was just the best feeling to finish up with a win,” Esham said.
Added Arrington, “We just played our hearts out. It was the best possible way to end high school field hockey. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Frostrom said it was “extremely exciting” for her team to win the ESIAC title–only the second in the field hockey program’s history.
“They really played well together. They wanted it,” she said.
The Mallards went 12-0 during the regular season. They shut out the Gunston Day Herons 5-0 in the ESIAC semifinals on Oct. 23, to advance to the championship match.
In 14 games, Worcester (14-0) scored 89 goals and only gave up three.
“The championship is great, but our season has been phenomenal. To have an undefeated season is history for Worcester Prep,” Frostrom said. “We have just had an excellent group of seniors and starters and they just know how to work well together and it’s made for an unstoppable force this year. I’m certainly going to miss [the seniors.]”
Seven seniors will graduate in May. They all started and were key contributors.
“You can’t even pick them apart. They’re equally valuable,” Frostrom said. “There are big shoes to fill for the girls next year.”
Pilchard, Loomis, Arrington and seniors Meg Lingo (captain) and Alison Greer were awarded First Team All-ESIAC honors. Arrington was also named Player of the Year.
“I was so surprised,” Arrington said. “It’s just an amazing feeling. I never imagined that I would be honored with this.”
Sophomore Isabel Carulli and senior captain Maddy Stearns received Second Team recognition. Esham and senior Libby Truitt earned Honorable Mention distinction.
Despite losing seven starters, a core group of veterans will return in 2014.