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 Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 039BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – In athletics, employing the term ‘history’ can suggest a one-time occurrence. But what if that special occurrence happens twice?

Well, that’s the onset of tradition.

On a scorching Monday evening at Annville-Cleona High School, the Little Dutchmen field hockey continued to back up their historical 2016 campaign by trouncing Pequea Valley 6-0. Behind four goals from freshman Grace Renninger, Annville-Cleona scored five times in the second half to break open what was a tight game at the break.

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 044With the result, Annville-Cleona improved to 10-1 overall and 7-0 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. With five section matches remaining, the Little Dutchmen, who have outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 43-5 this season, maintained a two-game lead in the section.

Not bad for a program which graduated nine seniors and lost a total of ten players from a 2016 club which won its first section championship in 44 years and made it to the state playoffs for the first time in 31 seasons.

Pequea Valley, which dropped a similar 8-0 decision to the Little Duthcmen in Kinzers on September 9, slipped to 0-10-1 on the year and 0-6-1 in the circuit.

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 089“I’m pleased and surprised,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Sue Felty. “I didn’t think we’d be here right now. Hopefully we can keep doing the things we’ve been doing. We’re young. We have four girls starting who played junior high last year. There’s a learning curve there, and they’re learning to play with each other. It’s been an adjustment.

“We had some holes to fill, but we still had a good core coming back,” Felty continued. “They really worked on helping the younger players play with them. Districts is a good possibility. I’m not sure it was on our radar at the beginning of the season. I’m a superstitious person. I don’t like to look ahead. I won’t even look at (district) power rankings until the end of the season. But those (winning the section and going to districts) are definitely goals with where we are now.”

The Little Dutchmen came out strong, getting Renninger’s first goal just 58 seconds into the contest. Teammate Gracen Kreider set up the play by going hard down the right side of the field, before sliding a pass to Renninger on the other side of the cage.

But despite buzzing around the net, Annville-Cleona was just a little off its game and didn’t score for the rest of the half.

“We were sluggish,” said Felty. “We started out slow. It was definitely a different start than when we played them down there (when A-C led 8-0 at halftime). Obviously the heat was a factor. But their goalie (Jordan Melson) has come a long way. They made us work for it.

“I’m sure the girls came in thinking it wasn’t going to be a tough game,” Felty continued. “We (the coaching staff) tried to tell them that that wasn’t the case. It was also a Monday, and we don’t play well on Mondays.”

Felty’s address to her charges at the break was more about motivation than strategy, and the Little Dutchmen heeded her words. Annville-Cleona came out in the second half and upped its advantage to 2-0 just 1:50 in, and the goal seemed to create momentum for the home side.

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 061From the right side of the circle, A-C’s Emily Brightbill threw a ball on to Melson’s pads, and Renninger was able to jam it home. Renninger’s goals gave her a team-leading total of ten this season.

“I told them they’ve got to start playing,” said Felty of her halftime message. “That wasn’t the team we are. We were doing things we normally don’t do. They weren’t playing the way they could. They recognized it as well.

“I think that first goal in the second half was the turning point,” added Felty. “I told them, ‘We’ve got to go out and score.’ We talked about what we had to do, and they went out and did it.”

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 010Annville-Cleona scored its third and fourth goals 2:08 apart, six minutes later.

Renninger completed her natural hat trick by tipping in a high pass from Lauren Schrader. Schrader had gotten off  a good hard shot on goal, and when the rebound bounced back to her, she located Renninger on the left post.

It was E. Brightbill who made it 4-0, after she carried a ball into the top of the circle and unleashed a shot that eluded Melson. Teammate Addie Plummer appeared to distract Melson with her stick.

“Sometimes it can go both ways,” said Felty. “Sometimes when you score you think it’s going to be easy and you become complacent. But often the girl who scored gets fired up like, ‘Hey, I want to go get another one’.

” We started passing better,” Felty added. “We started using our give-and-go. Some of the smaller passes got the ball down the field. We weren’t dumping and chasing.”

Annville-Cleona Field Hockey 115Renninger’s final goal was the result of a good ‘find’ by Alayna Harrell from the left end line. And with 14:07 remaining Harper Sellers got into the Little Dutchmen scoring act, when she scored on her third straight attempt, after her first two were denied.

“She’s had a couple of goals,” said Felty of Renninger. “She has a nose for the ball. She has good hand-eye coordination, and having her in the front of the cage, she’s really aggressive. She puts herself in the right positions.”

It should be noted that the Little Dutchmen did not allow Pequea Valley to get close to their net, or to attempt a penalty corner. Annville-Cleona piled up 31 shots – 19 of which came in the second half – and was awarded 16 corners.

 

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

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2017 Annville-Cleona Field Hockey Schedule

Date Teams Score
9/01
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Country Day
4
1
9/06
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
9
0
9/08
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
0
6
9/12
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
2
0
9/14
4:00 pm
Bishop McDevitt
at Annville-Cleona
1
2
9/16
12:00 pm
Brandywine Heights
at Annville-Cleona
2
4
9/16
2:00 pm
Berks Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
1
0
9/18
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
0
5
9/20
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
0
1
9/22
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
4
1
9/25
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
9/27
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
9/29
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
10/05
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
10/07
10:00 am
Camp Hill
at Annville-Cleona
10/09
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
10/11
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona

 

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