Pates split two to start year
The offensive disparity in the less than 24-hour period between games was evident for the Freedom field hockey team. After opening the 2019 season with a 5-0 victory at East Stroudsburg North in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action, the Patriots struggled to find the back of the cage the next day, falling 2-1 in a nonconference game to Salisbury Saturday morning at Freedom High School.
Freedom (1-1 overall, 1-0 EPC) fell behind 2-0 after the opening half, and then cut its deficit in half, but was unable to get all the way back and find the tying goal.
Head coach Brianna Musselman knows her offense needed to do better, but also has confidence that they can. She was also proud that the team did not give up when falling behind 2-0 with just 30 minutes left to play.
“We had a lot of opportunities in the circle to score, and we just need to do a better job of finishing them,” said Musselman. “It happened a lot last year too. We know that we have the ability to score, because we scored five goals [Friday]. I think in all we kept it together, going down by two goals and having to fight back. We just need to finish in the circle.”
The Patriots outshot the Falcons (1-0) 10-6 overall and 8-4 in the first half. They also led in corners, 8-6.
Salisbury scored the game’s opening goal and its first goal of the 2019 campaign off of a corner by Katherine Lovelidge midway through the opening half. Then Ella DeFazio tallied her first goal of the season with no time left on the clock off a corner as the first half ended and the Falcons went to halftime ahead 2-0.
“We did adjust some things on our press at halftime,” Musselman said. “We noticed a lot of people open in the middle of the field that we could connect to and move down field quickly. So we adjusted and did a good job working together more in the second half. Our midfielders did a good job of getting the ball into the circle to create scoring opportunities.”
Those adjustments that Musselman and her staff made did pay off. The Patriots got on the scoreboard with 13:26 left to play as Taynette Rodriguez scored on an assist by Isabella Schweikert.
Goalkeeper Lauren Jancsarics finished with three saves.
“Even though we lost, I’m happy that we did at least score, and didn’t give up after they scored those two goals,” said Musselman. “We also had a lot of offensive corners which I always like seeing because those are what can create goals.”
Freedom has games this week vs. Stroudsburg (Tuesday), at East Stroudsburg South (Thursday) and at Pleasant Valley (Saturday).