(Oct. 31, 2014) When the Worcester Prep and Sts. Peter & Paul field hockey teams went head-to-head during the regular season, the Lady Mallards were victorious 1-0 and 3-1.
The two squads met for the third time this season in Berlin on Monday to battle for the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship title.
“We came out knowing that yes, we had beat Sts. Peter & Paul twice in the regular season, but it’s not easy to beat somebody three times,” said Prep Coach Jenny Frostrom.
About 50 seconds before halftime, sophomore Leigh Lingo set up for a corner. She played the ball to junior Isabel Carulli, who blasted it into the goal.
The play wasn’t exactly planned, but it worked out in Worcester’s favor.
“It’s funny because we weren’t sure what the corner (play) was. That’s just kind of our go-to. [Frostrom] usually calls it and we didn’t hear it so we kind of called it on our own,” Carulli said. “I got the ball, looked up, saw no one was there and shot. I was aiming for the left corner and it went right where it needed to go. It’s one of the shots I’ve been missing all season and it was good to finally get one in. I’m not usually one of the people who scores in our games so it was really nice to score in the championship.”
“Honestly, I felt we were a little bit slow to get started. Once [Carulli] put it in the back of the cage it was like we got into another gear,” Frostrom said. “We took a breath and we started playing our game. It was probably the most beautiful goal of the season. It was perfection.”
With about seven minutes left in the game, junior Hanna Nechay crossed the ball and freshman Mia Meacci scored to give Worcester a 2-0 lead.
The Mallards held on to win and capture their third consecutive ESIAC championship crown. Prep sophomore goalie Stormy McGuiness came up with several key saves in the shutout.
“She had the game of the season. I tallied six solid shots she stopped from going in the cage,” Frostrom said. “She had a brilliant game.”
Frostrom said her girls played an amazing game and she couldn’t be more proud of them.
“We played our hearts out and I’m really proud of the team and the way we came together,” Carulli said.
Senior captain Jordie Loomis agreed.
“It started out a little rough, but it was probably one of the best games we’ve ever had, one of the best comebacks we’ve ever had,” she said. “It’s the best I’ve seen my team play in a long time. It was amazing.”
The Mallards advanced to the championship game with a 4-0 victory in the semifinals over the Gunston Day Herons on Oct. 24 in Berlin. Nechay netted two shots and sophomore Regan Lingo and senior captain Caroline Lindsay each scored once.
After the championship game, players named to the All-ESIAC teams were recognized.
Loomis, Carulli, Lindsay and senior captain Natalie Twilley received First Team accolades. Nechay, L. Lingo, senior captain Carolyn Dorey and junior Hannah Arrington earned Second Team honors.
Loomis was named ESIAC Player of the Year.
“It’s amazing, but I know I wouldn’t be here without my team,” she said. “I wouldn’t be Player of the Year if I didn’t have the girls I have backing me up.”
Worcester (14-2) lost two competitions early in the season to Delaware schools Delmar and PolyTech during the Bi-State Tournament, and then went on a 14-game win streak.
Frostrom said the season went better than she had hoped.
“Losing seven starting seniors and only having four seniors, four brilliant ones this year, it was definitely a rebuilding year. In the beginning of the year, our first two losses, we were a little green,” Frostrom said. “We had a lot to work out and the girls walked away from [the losses] knowing we had to work harder and they did it. They took that mentality and knew they had to step it up and they did.”
“We definitely progressed over the year. It was amazing to watch our team build up and strengthen in every which way,” Loomis said.