Field Hockey: Manual takes on Ballard, Freshman, JV tie, Varsity wins

On Thursday, Sept. 12, Manual’s field hockey teams took on the Ballard Bruins at all levels, tying 1-1 at Freshman and JV levels, and winning 1-0 at Varsity. Varsity won after Leah Thompson (12, 46) scored a goal off of a corner with twelve minutes left in the second half.

The four schools that are most competitive with each other in Louisville high school field hockey are Manual, Ballard, Assumption, and Sacred Heart. Though Sacred Heart is considered by many in the Manual field hockey program to be the Crimsons’ number one rival, because Ballard and Manual’s teams are the most competitive from public schools, the game can quickly turn ugly.

“All of their teammates talk a lot of smack about Manual’s team and how they were going to beat us and how they’re better than us.” said Mahalia Smith (10, 32, JV).

There was shoving throughout the game, resulting in several Manual players getting pushed to the ground, and Hayley Barker, (12, 53) having the symptoms of a concussion after being elbowed in the head.

“The Ballard girls were extremely feisty and pushed me over so hard that my momentum caused me to do several somersaults.” said Abby Durbin (11, 1).

Aggression resulted in three green cards in the last six minutes of the Varsity game. Two green cards were awarded to Ballard players (once for pushing and once for not being back five yards from a Manual player beginning a free hit), and one green card was given to Abby Durbin of Manual. “The ref was getting aggravated at the excessive aggression and gave me a green card in the last five minutes of the game for not backing up from the girl taking a free hit, even though I didn’t play the ball.” Durbin said.

Ballard’s style of play is also a reason why they are such a difficult team to face. “It’s hard because they run a system that’s so different than the one that we play and the one we’re used to playing and we need to learn to make the adjustments.” said Clare Doyle (10, 4, JV).

But despite the setbacks from aggression and the difficult system to defend, Manual came out on top. “Ballard always talks about how they’re going to beat us, but we’ve beat them so many times, so we can definitely do it again.” said Sara Hannah (10, 41, JV).