Unionville field hockey falls just short

Indians drop tough 2-1 decision to Owen Roberts, in District 1 title match; head to state tourney Tuesday

By Dave Conard, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com

Unionville's Annabeth Donovan moves the ball upfield against Owen J. Roberts in the District 1 finals; the Indiians take on Warwick in the opening round of the state tournament Tuesday.

AMBLER — Judging from the body language of head coach Madison Weary, it would have been impossible to believe that her Indians squad had just claimed their first District One field hockey runner up medal.

Obviously disappointed in the outcome, as the Indians dropped the final 2-1 to Owen J. Roberts, who claimed its first ever District One title, Weary was quick to point out that it is not the end of the road for her Unionville team that is no 11-4-1 on the season.

“I am glad we regained control some what in the second half,” said Weary. I just wish we had played like that the entire game. I think we came out a little tentative and the girls were feeling the pressure a little, but they turned it around after the break.”

In a scoreless first half in which the Indians were out shot 9-1, it took a stroke by Amanda Fuertsch for the Wildcats to get on the board, following and outstanding play by goalkeeper Sam Carlino, who made an aggressive play on the ball which was ruled a foul.

“I thought they did a great job running us in the second half,” said Wildcats head coach Clarence Janelle. “They passed a lot more in the first half, which we were able to defend, but when they started breaking it outside in the second half we had a hard time adjusting, that I a very good team which we may see again in states.”

As the second half got underway, the Indians started on fire as they forced five corners and recorded six shots on goal in the first nine minutes of action, culminating with freshman Izzy McDonough was quick to pounce on a rebound of Brielle Hartzell’s shot on a penalty corner, evening the game at one.

Owen J. Roberts (23-2) took advantage of a defensive miscue as junior Heather Morris converted on a break away, scoring her seventh goal of the post season, giving the Wildcats a 2-1 edge that they would not relinquish, even though the Indians pressured the ball in the Owen J. end in the last two minutes of the tilt.

The good news for Unionville and its fans, is that the Indians will make their first state tournament appearance on Tuesday as they battle District Three number three seed Warwick at 5pm on the turf of West Chester East High School.

The great news for the Indians is that thanks to their runner up finish there is no way they can see Pennsylvania’s number one seeded team, nationally ranked Emmaus until the state championship game, as they are in the second half of the bracket.

Owen J. Roberts as a result of winning the district title will have to face the Hornets in the semi final if both team advance that far, and will take on District 3 fourth seed Hempfield who actually finished the regular season with a better record than Warwick.

Mount St. Joseph, who the Indians defeated to reach the final, is also in the upper half of the bracket and should the Magic advance from their first round match up, they will face the winner of the Owen J. Roberts game.

Warwick (20-4) enters today’s PIAA class AAA state playoff with Unionville having defeated Hempfield 3-2, following a 2-1 overtime loss to Penn Manor High School, finishing third behind District Three champion Lower Dauphin (22-1), who beat Penn Manor (21-4) 1-0 to win the title.

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