Warwick improves to 2-0 with win over Crestwood
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Kiersten Cepeda made her living for the Warwick field hockey team last year by staying at home on the goal post.
That was a big reason that she finished with a team-leading 26 goals in 2011.
Senior forward Autumn Hess stole a page from Cepeda’s book last Saturday and scored the game-winning goal in a big 3-1 non-league win for the Lady Warriors over perennial Double-A power Crestwood at Grosh Field in Lititz.
Positioned at the left post as teammate Casie Stief put a shot on goal from the right wing, Hess picked up the rebound off the pads of Crestwood keeper Kendra Dallas and buried it in the back of the cage with 9:50 elapsed in the second half to snap a 1-1 tie.
"Casie fired a nice cross ball and I think what might have helped us was Marleise (Emrhein) was coming in through the middle and that might have been a little decoy because the defense from Crestwood stepped up to play her and they left Autumn open wide on the other side," Warwick coach Bob Derr said. "We tell our wings, that’s what they’ve got to do — they’ve got to stay wide of the post. We call them the wideouts, and we tell them, ‘Stay home. Don’t leave home because the ball is going to come across.’"
Junior center midfielder Liz Wenger added a key insurance tally on Warwick’s 13th and final penalty corner with just 1:05 remaining, on an assist from Cepeda, to set the final margin of victory. For the game, the Lady Warriors built a 13-6 advantage in corners and outshot Crestwood 15-11.
At game’s end, Derr didn’t hide his excitement about seeing his young squad knock off a Crestwood team which is traditionally making deep runs in the Double-A playoffs.
"We haven’t played them in so long," Derr said. "We played them when we used to have our Classic, and then the last couple of years that we had the Classic, we didn’t meet each other because we were always opposite in the bracket. And to beat Crestwood, who’s always a top contender in Double-A, is huge … Both teams played hard. Both teams had a lot of offense, they both had a lot of defense. I’m just proud of the team that we came through with a W. We have a lot of issues. We’ve got to work on our free hits on the offensive side and we’ve got to work on the defensive side – we’re getting too flat and that’s why that long ball was going through."
With their win over Crestwood, the Lady Warriors improved to 2-0 halfway through a season-opening four-game gauntlet. That stretch continued this week with a game yesterday (Wednesday) against Hempfield in a rematch of the 2011 PIAA Triple-A championship game, and the Warwick girls will travel to Central Dauphin this Saturday. Last November, Warwick defeated the Rams 4-1 in the PIAA State semi-finals.
"That’s a heck of a top four, boy," Derr said. "I think it’s possible (to go 4-0) with what we have. We’re young, but they play hard. It’s just a matter of them taking care of the little things. Of course, in any game, little things can happen that could lead to goals."
The Lady Comets got the first goal last Saturday, as Ashleigh Thomas lifted home a rebound shot with 4:48 elapsed in the opening half. Warwick’s Jaycie St. John initially made a defensive save on the right side of the goal cage, but Thomas delivered on the second chance to put Crestwood up 1-0.
Nearly eight minutes later, senior Ericka Griffith got the equalizer for Warwick, scoring unassisted on a penalty corner with 17:28 remaining in the first half. That was the first of five straight corner opportunities for the Lady Warriors, who held a 5-1 advantage in that department in the first half. Both teams though generated eight shots and Crestwood was just inches from regaining the lead when Thomas hit the left post with 2:20 left in the half.
"Defensively, we’re getting stronger and more confident, but I think we were fortunate that they didn’t score (more often) because they did have some great opportunities," Derr said. "I know we were very tired and exhausted from playing Friday (a 2-0 win over Oley Valley), but (Crestwood) played yesterday too and then of course had to make that long trip down here – on a school bus, yet."
Crestwood again carried the play through the first several minutes of the second half, and picked up a couple of quick corners, but Warwick keeper Kailynne Reinoehl and the Lady Warriors’ defense were equal to the challenge. Reinoehl finished the game with nine stops.
"The three backs and our goalie, Reinoehl, are maturing very, very fast now," Derr said. "With Oley Valley, she didn’t have as many shots, but today she had a ton of shots. (Eleven shots) is a lot in a game. Usually, you figure to average about six to eight, but (Kailynne) did really well with that and I think she’s just getting more and more confident."
After weathering the early storm, the Lady Warriors righted the ship and a pretty passing play from Wenger to Jamie Martin to Stief in the center of the field set up Hess’ go-ahead goal.
Crestwood answered with a surge of its own, and Derr burned both of his timeouts within a span of 5:49 to regroup his players. Following the second of those, Warwick got the next eight corners and nearly gained a two-goal advantage when Martin nailed the right post with just over 4:00 to go.
Finally, however, with just 1:05 remaining in the game, Wenger gave Warwick the breathing room they needed by beating Dallas for an insurance goal.
"This game was still on the edge of being 2-1 and we didn’t score that third goal until (late), so that was huge," Derr said. "We were very fortunate to come out of that, but I’ve got to give the girls credit. They found a way, but it was shaky."
Through Warwick’s first two games, five different goal scorers found the back of the cage, including Emrhein and Cepeda in the Lady Warriors’ 2-0 victory at Oley Valley on Friday.
Emrhein had a two-point game in the season-opening win, scoring a first-half goal at the 11:54 mark to put Warwick up 1-0 at the break and then assisting on Cepeda’s second-half tally. Stief picked up an assist on Emrhein’s goal.
Warwick outshot the Lynx 9-3 and Reinoehl had two saves in the shutout. Griffith also picked up a defensive save to keep Oley Valley off the scoreboard. More LADY WARRIORS, page B-3