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Archive for October 23, 2022

Oct. 23, 2022 — Proving a theorem

We’ve had a number of observational aphorisms about the games of field hockey and lacrosse, and today, we’re declaring a new Eighth Law of Field Hockey: “At the beginning of the season, offenses are ahead of defenses. But goalkeepers often have an outsized effect on the outcomes of games occurring later in the season, including tournament games.”

Such was the case on Friday night as Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.) took a 2-0 lead on a Pottstown Hill School (Pa.) team which was No. 3 in the country in last week’s TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10.

It’s an overused trope that a 2-0 lead can often be the hardest to hold on to because of the momentum involved when a team is coming back from that kind of deficit. But for the Irish, it was all about tactically salting away the rest of the game after Madison Logan followed up Olivia Bent-Cole’s corner shot in the second quarter.

In this game, however, it was much more than that. It was even more than Bent-Cole, one of three high-school players in the U.S. senior women’s national team pool. Because as time elapsed in this game, it became The Emily Nicholls Show. Nicholls, the team’s goalkeeper who has given her verbal commitment to Rutgers, was magnificent for the second half of the game, interposing herself in all of Hill’s corner play and stopping shots from all angles.

In all, she had 14 saves, most in the second half as Hill strung together corner chances. Nicholls was unwavering in her commitment to the back line, and helped bring Camden Catholic a famous victory.

A hearty “Well-played!” from this corner.