No. 11 River Hill gets in gear, upsets No. 4 Long Reach, 1-0

Chrencik's goal lifts Hawks in league opener

Field hockey

September 21, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Tension clearly showed in the faces of River Hill's field hockey players when the game began against host Long Reach yesterday. And it carried over into the Hawks' early play in their 1-0 victory.

Long Reach (4-2 overall, 0-1 league) dominated the first 15 minutes, except for one quick counterattack by the Hawks, who struggled to clear the ball from their defensive end up a noticeable incline.

"It takes more energy to go up the hill," said Hawk Susan Monheit, a junior midfielder who was constantly pressed back to defend by Long Reach's attack in the first half.

But once the second half began, the Hawks (5-0, 1-0) looked like a different team attacking down the hill.

By the time right wing Alyssa Chrencik redirected Shannon Goans' shot from the left side to the far post for a goal with 18:57 left to play, the No. 11-ranked Hawks were in control of their league-opening game and went on to an upset victory over the No. 4-ranked Lightning.

"There was barely a defender on the right side of the field all day," said Chrencik, who missed the last three games with a virus.

River Hill attacked almost exclusively down the left side, something that displeased Hawks coach Shelly Chamness.

"Bringing it center and switching sides is one of our strengths, but we always get frustrated playing Long Reach just because it's Long Reach. We have a lot better skills than we showed in the first half."

Goans' assist made up for her missed penalty stroke with 24:13 left to play.

"We wanted to play well so badly that we weren't concentrating as hard as we should have been at the start of the game," Goans said. "We're rival teams and this is our toughest game. They beat us, 1-0, last season. So we were just worried about what happens if they score a goal. At halftime, we calmed down."

Long Reach's leading scorer, Shelby Orndorf (7g, 3a), cracked heads with Hawks left halfback Susan Mohheit with 12 minutes to play and walked off with assistance. Orndorf, first-team All-County last season, didn't return to action and was taken to Howard County General Hospital with a possible concussion. Mohheit was given a green card.

River Hill had not beaten Long Reach since 1998.

Mount Hebron 2, Howard 0: Chrissy Nicolaus scored on a rebound off the goalkeeper in the first half and her twin sister Cindy scored on a penalty stroke in the second half as the host Vikings (4-1) won their league opener.

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