Patriots double up on Fair Haven

BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony field hockey team allowed 15 penalty corners against Fair Haven on Wednesday — and only had four of their own.

Many times, that can be a recipe for a defeat, when one team is controlling the action in the offensive zone.

Thanks to strong defense and a good day by MAU goalie Savannah Rogers, the Slaters didn't score on any of them in a 2-0 victory by the Patriots.

"Ashlee [Billert] and Alison [Simmons] have had fantastic sticks back there this season, we've had a lot of defensive saves, and Savannah is averaging 13 to 15 saves," said MAU coach Amber Cottrell.

MAU came out quickly, but the game started to turn in the middle of the first half, with the Slaters dominating possession. Cottrell called a timeout with 11 minutes left in the half to regroup.

"We had some good offensive pressure for the first 10 minutes, but we got a little comfortable, [assuming] the defense will keep doing [making the stops]. I called the timeout and got settled."

The stoppage worked, when four minutes later, the Patriots took the lead on a corner — Savana McDonald got a stick on the ball and deflected it to Acacia Petras, who shot it past Fair Haven goalie Jordyn Howard to take the lead, her first goal of the year.

"We mix it up between five different corners, and we've also been working on making sure we have someone on the post and not just swinging at the ball," Cottrell said. "We have to get in the habit of making contact, stopping the ball, not trying to swing for the fences. It was nice to see Acacia because she plays wing, she's familiar with being on goal."

At halftime, Cottrell told her team to keep on the pressure, which they did. It paid dividends right away with another score a minute and a half into the second period.

After a nice pass from Ciarra Raetz, McDonald shot off of Howard, but then redirected her second shot into the cage.

"We've been working on getting rebounds off the goalie and redirecting the ball," Cottrell said. "We've been just sending it back where it came from and goalies are making two or three stops. So we worked yesterday on that, and that's exactly what she did. Things [we do] in practice are translating into goals."

MAU's defense then had to come up with some big stops as the game wound down, killing off a 2-man advantage with less than 10 minutes left as Fair Haven had four corners — none of which found the mark.

"We played a really good complete game today and we're starting to do well consistently," Cottrell said.

MAU is 2-2-1 on the year.


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