By Alec Turner
CHESHIRE -- All season, Cheshire High School junior goalkeeper Alyssa Stevens has been the backbone for the field hockey team. The reigning All-Southern Connecticut Conference goalie continued her success Friday as she made six second-half saves in the Rams’ 4-1 win over the Hamden Dragons.
Cheshire (9-2-2-1, 8-0-1-1 in the SCC) has won four straight games and given up only one goal in the last 240 minutes.
With the loss, Hamden (6-8-0-0, 4-5-0-0 in SCC) snapped its two-game winning streak.
The Rams scored three goals in the first half and held the ball in the Dragons’ territory. They put nine total shots on Hamden’s goalkeeper Brianna Craft.
Cheshire head coach Eileen Wildermann was pleased about the production of the offense in the first 30 minutes of play.
“Our first half was a good boost for us moving forward. We tried some new things in our passing patterns and transfers,” Wildermann said.
Forward Mikayla Crowley got Cheshire on the board just three minutes into the game. It was the first of two goals on the day for the freshman. She now has four on the season to go along with an assist.
“She doesn’t understand how big this is for her,” Wildermann said. “She gives us such a spark.”
The Rams’ offense kept possession for the majority of the first half, to where Hamden didn’t get a shot on net for the entire first half.
Wildermann brought the offensive success back to having a veteran like Stevens in net.
“We can take some offensive risks because we have a good goalie. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we had an average goalie,” Wildermann said.
The Rams got their second goal of the game with 13 minutes left in the half. Junior right forward Sarah Pierpont weaved through two Hamden defensemen and passed the ball right to senior forward Samantha Vitale to make it 2-0.
Pierpont leads the team in points, goals and assists with 17, five, and seven, respectively.
“She really exploded and got all the offensive things going,” Wildermann said.
Stevens ended her shutout streak with four minutes left in the game on a Hailey Collins goal.
“We’ll get her another one [shutout] in return,” Wildermann said.
The win secures Cheshire in third place in the SCC standings. With two games left before the conference tournament on Oct. 31, the Rams need to win out and have Lauralton Hall and Daniel Hand to lose to get the top seed in the tournament. The Rams beat Daniel Hand and lost in overtime to Lauralton Hall earlier this season.
Hamden sits at seventh in the conference, and is in control of its destiny in making the tournament next week.
“I think we are in a very good position,” Wildermann said about facing the other top teams in the conference. “We have the ability, but we just have to put the package together.”
The Rams play Saturday afternoon at Greenwich and host Senior Night Tuesday night against Guilford.
Students in Quinnipiac University's JRN361: Sports Reporting course cover local high school sports competitions. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)