Colonials Show Mettle in Loss to Lancers
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Sep 28, 2012, 15:57
Colonial Heights sophomore Bethany Kocik (right) defends Manchester’s Danielle Lane during a non-district game on Thursday in Colonial Heights (photo by Jacob Vaughan).
COLONIAL HEIGHTS – There is no quit in these Colonials.
While the scoreline may not reflect it, Colonial Heights field hockey coach Shastan Kuschke thinks her team may have turned a corner in an 8-2 non-district loss to visiting Manchester on Thursday.
The Lancers rang up five first-half strikes and led by as many as seven, but the Colonials rallied to notch a pair of consolation goals before game’s end. The never-say-die attitude impressed Kuschke, who hopes the progress will serve as a springboard to future success.
“I was very pleased,” Kuschke said. “That’s definitely a much better game than what I’ve seen in the last two weeks. It was awesome. I’m glad they came out in the second half and kept working hard, and I cannot be disappointed at all.”
The first half must have seemed like an unpleasant bout of déjà vu for the Colonials.
Twin sisters Courtlyn and Caitlyn Warren – the same duo that wreaked havoc in a clash with Prince George last month – combined to score five goals for Manchester.
Caitlyn Warren opened the scoring with a well-placed shot 4:28 into the game and the Lancers never looked back.
Mikaelah Stinnett doubled Manchester’s advantage three minutes later and Caitlyn Warren made good use of a dish from her sister to make the score 3-0 at the 18:12 mark.
The Colonials then managed to subdue the potent Lancers’ attack for a 10-minute stretch before Courtlyn Warren opened her scoring account with a rising shot following a penalty corner.
Caitlyn Warren completed her first-half hat trick on the heels of another corner. The hard-hitting Warren sisters accounted for 15 shots in the first half, many of which came directly from corners.
“Their drives are deadly,” Kuschke said. “It’s really hard to block them off, especially when they’re in the air.”
The Lancers continued the scoring barrage in the early stages of the second half. Nicole Fore coolly slotted home to extend the lead to 7-0 with 25 minutes remaining, and the visitors seemed poised to return to Chesterfield with a shutout victory.
To that point, the Colonial Heights offense had been limited to an occasional counterattack. The Colonials failed to register a penalty corner or shot on goal in the opening 35 minutes. Kuschke said those woes have been recurring problems for her team all season.
“We’ve had a little bit of a rough time getting our corners off and making shots,” Kuschke said. “Our defense has played strong consistently, but in terms of our offensive attack, we’re having a little bit of an issue.”
Then, without warning, came the breakthrough.
Seconds after Fore’s goal, Colonial Heights junior Jordan Caison manufactured the home team’s first clear-cut opportunity of the game and converted with a finesse shot that rolled just inside the far post.
Far from finished, the Colonials cut the deficit to 7-2 moments later. This time Caison played the role of provider, rolling a pass to Katlyn Foster who dispatched a low shot into the corner of the cage.
“It’s nice for them to score against a team like this,” Kuschke said.
Colonial Heights goalkeeper Ashley Schoot, who started the game having already amassed more than 170 saves this season, was tested early and often in the contest.
More often than not, the junior passed with flying colors, coming up with a variety of kick saves and last-second clearances.
“We’re relying on her,” Kuschke said. “And considering how many shots they took, she did a great job.”