by Tom Utescher
Host Penn Charter spent a lot of time in the circle of visiting Baldwin School last Tuesday afternoon, but all the scoring in this Inter-Ac League field hockey match occurred in a span of less than three-and-a-half minutes.
With 20:11 and 16:52 remaining in the first half, the Quakers clicked on offense and then preserved their 2-0 lead to the final whistle. Bella Smith, who seemed to be all over the field all the time, worked the ball down low on both scoring plays, finding her senior classmate Ellie Zimering in prime position near the left post.
Zimering’s two markers and a shutout in goal by junior Janelle Sullivan allowed PC to record its second league win of the season while completing a season sweep over Baldwin. On October 9, Charter had won 1-0 on the road against the Bears, whose varsity teams is playing a mixture of varsity and JV teams in Inter-Ac matches this fall. Aside from the Baldwin bouts, PC’s closest league contest was a 2-0 loss at Springside Chestnut Hill on October 29.
Last Tuesday it was actually Baldwin who attacked first and earned the game’s first penalty corner, but it didn’t produce a shot on goal.
Charter was soon on the attack, but although the sideline let out a whoop when the ball struck the backboard of the Baldwin goal about four minutes in, this was not a goal since the shot had come from outside the scoring circle.
The hosts remained on the offensive but looked a little disorganized, leading head coach Melissa Grosman to call a time-out with 22:13 still remaining in the first half. The Quakers came back out and got on the board just two minutes later, as Smith and Zimering made their first connection in the circle.
Soon after the eventual game-winner was entered into the scorebooks, the two PC seniors struck again on an almost identical play. It was just as well that the hosts were able to add an insurance goal quickly, because both Sullivan and Baldwin keeper Maddie Carre kept their cages pristine the rest of the afternoon.
PC junior Courtney Cubbin, a primary lacrosse player who just came out for varsity hockey this year, has quickly honed her stickhandling skills and against Baldwin she provided a key transition link for the Quakers out on the right wing.
As time wound down in the first half the visitors put together a good offensive sequence. Carrie Schaeffer drove the ball into the circle from the right, and Courtney Loomis got off a shot that was turned away by Charter’s Sullivan. The Bears kept the ball in the circle, but Sullivan saved further shots by Loomis and Olivia Horwitz, and the tally remained 2-0 until the intermission.
Penn Charter pushed up the field for the start of the second period, earning two early corners that failed to yield a legitimate shot. Baldwin got Grace Steelman loose on a charge down the right wing, but she was diverted by the defense as she got into the circle.
The Quakers began sending some of their reserves onto the field, and one of them, freshman Bianca Bryant, helped clear a loose ball away from the front of the PC goal a little more than halfway through the period. In the final 10 minutes Charter’s Smith sent strong shots just to the left and just to the right of the Bears’ den, and the contest concluded with the score still 2-0.