On Thursday, Manual Field Hockey took on rival Sacred Heart at the JV and Varsity levels. After two hard-fought games, however, the Crimsons came up with two losses, JV losing 1-0, and Varsity 2-0.
Sacred Heart and Manual have had a major rivalry since the 2011 State Championships, when Manual’s underdog team took the title from the reigning Valkyrie champions, becoming the first public school in Kentucky to win the State Tournament since 1994, and winning Manual’s first State Championship title in field hockey. However, Sacred Heart won again last year.
After keeping the varsity game scoreless until the half, Sacred Heart scored with twenty minutes left in the second half, and again with about one minute left in the game. Right before the second goal, however, Katharine Stodghill (11, 22) was tripped while trying to defend a Sacred Heart player.
“I was defending Maddie Latino [Sacred Heart] and her stick got in front of my feet, and it tripped me and it knocked me out for a couple seconds.” said Stodghill. “I literally felt like my body was broken and I didn’t know whether to stay down or try to recover back, so I tried to get back, but by the time I got back, they scored.”
In addition to Stodghill being tripped before Sacred Heart scored, the Crimsons faced other injury problems as well. Starting forward Hayley Barker (12, 53) was still unable to play due to a concussion from the Ballard game a week earlier, and defender Taylor Browning’s (12, 17) shoulder injury flaring up rendered her incapable to continue playing after an incident in the second half. Play stopped for several minutes with about ten minutes left in the game as she was attended to by the coaches and trainer, and assisted off the field.
Browning found out before the season started that she has a posterior labral tear in her shoulder, and would have to get surgery. She has chosen to wait for surgery until the end of the season, but may not be able to play every game.
“In the more physical games like Ballard and Sacred Heart, I prepare myself for it to be pretty rough. My shoulder hurts on certain hits that I take and just playing in general.” said Browning. “There was about ten minutes left in the second half, and down in the circle, one girl pushed me down on my left side, pushing my shoulder back, making it pop back. Then when I took a sweep hit to clear the ball, my shoulder popped forward and I knew I couldn’t play anymore.”
While Manual and Sacred Heart will not play each other again during the regular season, depending on how the State Tournament in October is seeded, they may face off then. No matter who the Crimsons play in the tournament, however, the team hopes everyone is healthy and able to perform.
“It’s really unfortunate that we’ve had so many girls get injured.” said Allie Judge (11, 49). “Hayley [Barker] is one of our leading scorers, and Taylor [Browning] has saved us on defense more times than I can count. Hopefully the girls that are out right now will be able to play soon, but I’m sure that they will be there cheering us on at every game no matter what happens.”