This past Thursday night the Ballard Bruins copped a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Manual’s field hockey team.
Both teams played a very aggressive game. During the game, there were constant fouls called on both sides, and players took many corner shots.
“The best part of tonight was the way our team communicated and connected passes,” Audrey Slyter of Ballard said.
“It’s always a tough game against Manual, and I am so proud of my girls. I think both teams did an amazing job at staying tough and persevering when they are tired and through some bad calls and good calls,” Head Coach of Ballard, Shelby Daeschner, said.
Ellie Wheatley (#7, 10) was a huge contributor to the game, moving up and down the field very quickly and not being afraid to get a little physical with the Bruins.
“I kept my intensity up for the team, played with composure and didn’t play into the [Ballard] student section or other things tonight,” said Wheatley.
After a goal scored by the Bruins early on in the first half, the Crimsons roared to life and went on the attack.
Manual tends to be a fast-paced team who attempts to wear out their opponents. Unfortunately for the Crimsons, they weren’t able to run on Ballard due to the light rain sprinkles and the mushy field.
Once Manual realized they needed to make some adjustments, they slowed the game down and focused on teamwork, running plays and sticking together through this tough battle against their biggest opponent.
“Tonight my biggest asset was my communication because I kept trying to facilitate it and that really helped pick up our game during the second half,” India Reed (#17, 11) said.
At the start of the second half, the Crimsons brought intense energy and wild cheers from the sideline. These cheers led to a noticeable spark in the ladies on the field and how they carried themselves throughout the rest of the game.
“The biggest part for us tonight was playing as a team, which picked up in the second half, but we need to work on playing as one unit, which is what we attempted to do this game,” Shelby Young (#29, 12) said.
Despite this change Manual brought during the second half, the Bruins remained calm and stuck to their game plan.
“The best part of the game tonight was beating out biggest rival and getting revenge from when they beat us last year,” Maggie Dickman of Ballard said.
Late in the second half, the Crimsons moved fluidly down field and were in scoring range. They took a shot and then erupted into cheers, only to have the goal called back by the official who claimed, “the ball did not cross the plane of the goal line.”
This brought Manual’s momentum way down. After what was almost a goal, the Crimsons ended the game with strong defensive play and kept Ballard from gaining much territory down the field.
“This game was a bit disappointing. We looked a lot better in the second half, but we need to start putting it together quicker. We need to be proud to wear the Manual jersey because we are letting other teams and fans get in our head,” Rachel Wheatley (#8, 12) said.
Going into this game, Manual had just come off a huge 2-1 victory over Sacred Heart in overtime at Sacred Heart. A large part in why the Crimsons struggled Thursday night was due to their tired bodies.
“I think we were exhausted and needed some rest time; we had a lot of tired legs, but we’re turning around and going to St. Louis tomorrow,” Brittany Vencill, Manual’s Head Coach, said.
“We came into this game after a 2-1 victory over Sacred Heart, and we expected to do better, so we definitely have to not underestimate our opponent and this will help us in the following games,” Reed said.
The Crimsons’s next game will be today in the Gateway Classic in St. Louis, Missouri.