Monday, December 9, 2013
By Steve Craig, Staff Writer
YORK - Barb Marois knew her York High field hockey team would benefit from increased and more diverse scoring.
Tuesday the Wildcats delivered in a 4-0 Western Maine Conference win over Yarmouth.
Kelsey Elsemore scored twice in the first half on penalty corners, Sarah Panteleos tapped in a cross from freshman Allie Jones and Kathleen Cronin notched the fourth goal on a rebound off a hard penalty corner drive from Taylor Simpson.
"I've been thinking about it," Marois said. "I don't know if I've really voiced that with the girls but I knew it would be important for that to happen. We've had a couple of games where that's happened but not a lot. Just scoring in general. So I'm sure that the girls feel good about it."
Third-ranked York is 8-2-1. No. 9 Yarmouth is 5-5-1.
That York had seven wins without scoring more than two goals in a game speaks to its strong defense and the skill of Simpson, who had eight of the Wildcats' 12 goals entering the game (and assisted on two others). While kept off the goal-scoring sheet, Simpson's tenacious effort and stick skills were pivotal in creating York's 12-0 edge in penalty corners.
"That happens sometimes. You have to find a way to contribute. She drove a couple just wide of the cage but yeah, she definitely contributed, no question about it," Marois said.
York took advantage, using multiple plays to consistently create opportunities off its corners.
"We've had success with a combination of corners this year, which is really nice," Elsemore said. "We have a lot of people who can shoot. A lot of people have been able to get successful, strong shots off."
Elsemore's goals illustrated the point. Her first goal came off a strong drive, delivered quickly after taking the insertion pass from Cronin just outside the circle. With Yarmouth's defense slow to challenge, she tapped it forward a foot and let it rip.
On the second goal, York reserve Kiyanna Hutchins inserted the ball to Simpson. She pushed it to the right to Victoria Stocks, who sent a pass back to the center to Elsemore.
"Having everyone score who doesn't normally score, it's a nice feeling knowing they're getting that experience as well," Elsemore said.
Yarmouth played without its top scorer, right midfielder Kallie Hutchinson (ankle injury) for a third full game. The Clippers also were shut out Thursday by league-leading Lake Region, 2-0.
"(Hutchinson) definitely provides a lot of our offensive attack," Yarmouth Coach Mandy Lewis said. "She is one of our best players to see the field and read the play and deliver the ball where we need it to give us scoring opportunities, and clearly today we missed that."
York's midfield, led by Stocks in the middle and Kayla Kelly on the right wing, consistently won the one-on-one battles.
Kelly and Jones formed an effective duo along the right side from the beginning of the game to the end. It was a quick chip pass by Kelly that Jones ran onto and then took deep into the right corner that initiated the sequence leading to Panteleos' goal.
"Their strong, solid stick skills affected our play," Lewis said. "They would often beat us to the ball. We would anticipate it going through and they would cut it off and we had a hard time adjusting to that."
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: