A senior steps up at Chesapeake Field hockey: Wendy Ison, whose heroics rarely surprise her coach, has scored in each of the Cougars' first three games, including two game-winners.

September 18, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The goal, coming three minutes into the second half, was all Chesapeake would need in coming away with a 1-0 win over Broadneck in field hockey on Tuesday.

After the game, Broadneck coach Phoebe Kelly said it was the best shot she had ever seen.

As for Chesapeake coach Jerry Raab, whose No. 11 Cougars improved to 3-0 with the win, it was no big surprise.

In fact, nothing senior midfielder Wendy Ison does surprises Raab much anymore.

"Wendy is a self-made player. She's the one who made her as good as she is," said Raab. "She loves the game and takes every opportunity to make herself better."

Not picking up the sport until her freshman year, Ison quickly made up for lost time to become one of the county's top players. She's been in the Future's developmental program for three years, plays for Team Maryland, along with an indoor team over the winter months, and helps out at camps during the summer.

Right now, the attention is set on helping a talented, senior-laden Chesapeake team get back to Goucher College for the state playoffs. The Cougars' last state playoff appearance came in Ison's sophomore year when they reached the semifinals.

Last season ended in disappointment for Ison after she tore an anterior cruciate ligament a week before the county tournament. The Cougars, who finished the season 10-3-2, lost in the region playoffs to Franklin, and Ison, who earned first-team All-County honors, had surgery in December.

After months of rehabilitation, Ison was able to play varsity lacrosse in the spring. She finished as the team's third-leading scorer.

Fall is her favorite time, though, and field hockey is, without question, her favorite sport.

"This season has been more of a team effort," said Ison, a team captain in her third season on varsity. "We do a lot more stuff away from field hockey and are a lot closer with each other. You need that to be able to cooperate on the field. We're trying to make the most of our senior year."

So far, so good.

With most of the senior experience on attack and at midfield, the Cougars' young defense is getting acclimated to varsity life. Junior Megan Skiles is the only starter back, but the new group -- including Wendy's younger sister Emily, a sophomore -- hasn't missed a beat.

"We have some work to do throughout the season, but things are coming along well," said Raab. "This is a close-knit team, and they know what they want. For the seniors, they know this is it -- this is the year."

While Ison has played center midfield most of her career, her role has changed some this season, and she's been cashing in.

"Last year, I did a lot more distributing. This year, I'm pushing up a lot more and getting more opportunities in the circle. It's a lot more fun," she said.

It shows.

Ison, who would like to play Division I college ball and study to become a veterinarian, has scored in each of the Cougars' first three wins -- including game-winners in a 3-2 win over South River and Tuesday's close call against Broadneck. She also has an assist.

"She has real good stickwork and is so determined," said Raab. "I've encouraged her to press up in the circle more this year.

She's always able to dodge an opponent, take a shot and find the space."

As for the big goal against Broadneck, coming off a penalty corner from fellow senior Lori Stewart: "It was a bullet -- no way anyone could have stopped it," Raab said.

Pub Date: 9/18/97

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