Hammond enjoys a field day in rout of Seton Keough Bears praise new grass after 5-0 opening victory

Field Hockey

September 09, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Hammond has a field that other county teams envy. It also has a pretty good team.

Yesterday, both had opening-season tests.

Can you say straight A's?

The Golden Bears, playing on their new Bermuda grass field, got a little payback with a 5-0 rout of Seton Keough in front of an appreciative and larger-than-usual crowd.

"It was a great day," said Mandy Schroeder, who scored two goals. "They beat us last year, and we really wanted to win this game today, and we did."

Added Schroeder, one of eight senior starters: "We had a wonderful game. We passed the ball beautifully and we communicated with each other very well. It was definitely a team effort."

With nine returning starters and the addition of Adrienne Fenemore, a senior exchange student from New Zealand who had a goal and two assists yesterday, the Golden Bears have good reason to be excited about the season.

"I was really impressed with how they played today," said Hammond coach Gay Petrlik. "Everyone played well, and the passing was incredible."

Practicing on its home field has made Hammond a better team.

"Our skills have really improved by playing on the field," said senior defender Jessica Garvey. "It's easier to learn on a surface that is more playable."

"The field is wonderful," said Schroeder, "and it makes the game much faster. On our old field the ball would take unexpected bounces. This [field] gives us the opportunity to use our skills because the surface is so smooth. It's made us a better team."

Said Petrlik: "Our players have been executing much faster because we're practicing on it."

Remarkably, Hammond has only four home games -- not including playoffs -- left. The Golden Bears' next home game is not until Oct. 2 when they play host to Atholton.

Petrlik and her players don't think playing on other county fields will lessen their effectiveness.

"As long as the fields are cut low I think we're going to be fine," Petrlik said.

Added Garvey: "No matter what surface we play on, we'll play well if we play together."

As expected, yesterday's varsity and junior varsity games tore up the field a bit. But the divots scattered throughout the field of green didn't dampen the excitement for the team and its supporters. Following the game, Hammond held a "field party" off to the side of the playing field for the grounds crew members who made it all possible.

"We wanted to publicly thank them," Petrlik said.

"Playing on this field gave our team a lift," Schroeder said. "It made us feel proud."

Juniors Amy Hafets and Courtney Vaughan added goals against Seton Keough, which shut out the Golden Bears a year ago. Juniors Lauren Snyder (two) and Sarah Almon (one) had assists. Goalie Erin Chrapaty had three saves.

Pub Date: 9/09/98

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