MIDDLETOWN Middletown entered their crucial Blue Hen Conference Flight A field hockey battle with visiting Mount Pleasant knowing that it had to take advantage of any goal scoring chance against a Green Knight squad that tends to control possession.
The Cavaliers had just four enticing goal scoring opportunities but scored on all four to earn a 4-2 victory Wednesday afternoon and put them in strong position to win the Flight A race.
“When we got the chances, we had to take it because we knew we wouldn’t have many,” Middletown senior midfielder Brittany Bishop said. “So, if we took it now, it would give us the momentum to keep going.”
With the score knotted up a 2-2, the Cavaliers (7-2 overall, 5-0 Flight A) worked the ball deep in Mount Pleasant’s side of the field, eventually earning a penalty corner, and Bishop put Middletown in front when she deflected Meghan Jolikko’s shot from the top of the circle in the cage with 13:20 left in the second half.
With the momentum gained from Bishop’s goal, the Cavaliers won the ball and moved back into the Green Knights’ end of the field, and Madison Cook gave her team an insurance goal just 1:41 after Bishop’s tally.
Mount Pleasant (6-1, 5-1) attempted to make the comeback, but a strong effort by the defense and goaltender Lauren Berry down the stretch allowed Middletown to hold on to the win and control its own destiny for the division title.
“This was huge. This was our top competitor in the conference,” Cavalier head coach Stefany Kreiger said. “We have to three more (divison games) left, which is going to be tough as well, and we have to show up as well for those games. If we do, it’s going to be okay.”
The Green Knights opened up the scoring of the game when Kate Walker weaved her way through the Cavalier defense before putting a shot into the cage 10:12 into the game.
The Cavaliers equalized just over five minutes later when junior attacker Emily Saylor scored off of a feed from Jolikko, and Saylor scored her second goal to give Middletown a 2-1 lead off an assist from Cook with 10:21 left in the first half.
“I focused on trying my hardest and keeping my stick down, trying to tip it in, and I just wanted to make sure my stick on the ball,” Saylor said of her two goals.
Juliana Long tied the game at 2-2 for the Green Knights 1:46 into the second half with a rocket from the top of the penalty circle.