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BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – Inconsistencies follow a young team.

Perhaps, the best way to combat them is to focus on the positives and to critically address the negatives. Of course, experience always has a way of taking youth under its wing.

On a humid Tuesday evening at Annville-Cleona High School, the Little Dutchmen field hockey team experienced plenty of goods and some bad, during a 3-2 overtime victory over McCaskey. The really good was produced by sophomore midfielder Grace Francis and came in the form of the game-winning goal.

With time running down in the seven-on-seven extra session, Francis pounced on a loose ball in the Red Tornado end, went hard to her right and into the McCaskey circle, before dribbling a ball into the right side of the cage. Francis’ decisive tally came with 14 seconds left in the 15-minute overtime period, and about three minutes after she had served a five-minute penalty for her second card of the match.

“Today, we were up and down, up and down,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Carrie Gingrich. “Which has been our theme for the season. We haven’t played a full 60 minutes yet. We’ve had a couple of good quarters here and there. The good thing is that it’s early in the season.

“That’s what happened to us in the past (enjoying the better of the play),” Gingrich added. “We just couldn’t finish in the circle. It’s what we’ve been struggling with this season. But the win today is definitely going to help. Our two losses have come against two of the better teams we’re going to play.”

With the outcome, Annville-Cleona evened its overall mark at 2-2 and moved to 2-1 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. McCaskey slipped to 3-2 on the fall and 2-1 in the circuit.

“She’s one of our strongest players,” said Gingrich of Francis. “She’s quick and tall and fast. I knew if she had a chance that she would be able to get one for us. I knew when she went back in that she would be on a mission.

“Recently, we’ve been struggling on the offensive end,” added Gingrich. “We are trying to find the right combinations up front. We have some younger players there.”

After the Little Dutchmen had enjoyed the better of the play during regulation, McCaskey scored on an extended corner with no time showing on the fourth-period clock, to send the contest to bonus field hockey. Patient Sophia McGrann’s tying tally from the left post of the A-C goal.

“Our goals are to beat Elco and win the section,” said Gingrich. “I think the section is going be to close all-around. As long as we keep improving, we’re going to be good.”

Down a goal, the Little Dutchmen posted a pair of tallies in a 4:25 span, on their only two shots, of the fourth period. Sophomore Nicola Soliday got a piece of a Danika Setlock shot in front of the Red Tornado cage, after Francis had tied it at one on a similar, stick-handling semi-breakaway.

“We have to find the right combination on the forward line,” said Gingrich. “That’s the biggest thing. We have a lot of options up there. We have a full bench, which is great. I’m excited. This definitely helps with their (her players’) confidence, getting this win today.”

Following a goal-less first half, McCaskey assumed a 1-0 edge 7:33 into the second half when Morgan Stauffer scored from a scrum in the Annville-Cleona circle.

In the final tally, Annville-Cleona out shot McCaksey 16-3. The Little Dutchmen were awarded 12 penalty corners compared to the Red Tornado’s five.

To purchase images in this article please email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Annville-Cleona Field Hockey Schedule

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/03
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon

Nonleague
9/07
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
2
1

Nonleague
9/09
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Country Day
4
0

Nonleague
9/13
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco

League
9/13
4:00 pm
Bishop McDevitt
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
9/14
4:00 pm
McCaskey
at Annville-Cleona

League
9/16
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Solanco

League
9/18
10:00 am
Annville-Cleona
at Middletown

Nonleague
9/20
4:00 pm
Garden Spot
at Annville-Cleona

League
9/22
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon

League
9/24
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona

League
9/25
10:00 am
Annville-Cleona
at Kutztown

Nonleague
9/28
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at McCaskey

League
9/30
4:00 pm
Solanco
at Annville-Cleona

League
10/02
10:00 am
Annville-Cleona
at Garden Spot

League
10/05
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona

League
10/06
4:00 pm
Berks Catholic
at Annville-Cleona

Nonleague
10/08
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lampeter-Strasburg

Nonleague

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