Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG/Staff Writer
YORK — Taylor Simpson's work during the club season paid dividends Monday for York High's field hockey team.
Gathering her rebound, Simpson used a reverse stick -- think a tennis backhand motion but with much less striking area -- and lifted a hard shot for the game's only goal in York's 1-0 Western Class B win against Falmouth.
"I shot it. It came right off the goalie. It came to my reverse side. I know that I can do those so I just flicked it in. My first instinct," Simpson said.
"I think two of my goals have been on reverse. Not reverse lifts, though. When I play club, those are the things I try to work on because I know every time I practice I can get better."
The goal came 2:45 into the second half, after York (4-1) and Falmouth (3-2) played to an end-to-end standstill in the first half.
From the start of the second half, York sophomore Kayla Kelly and junior forward Madeline Leroux excelled at moving the ball along the right sideline and getting it to the end line. From there, the play usually went to either Simpson or senior center midfielder Tori Stocks in the circle.
One such play resulted in the penalty corner that led to Simpson's goal. Simpson took the insertion pass from Kathleen Cronin and worked a give-and-go with Stocks. Simpson's first shot was a forehand that was blocked by goalie Hillary Nash (seven saves). Her second bid zipped across Nash's body, over her left shoulder and into the cage.
"She does a nice job on both sides," said York Coach Barb Marois. "Some girls have a tendency of only being able to shoot on one side, but she can pretty much get one off on either side. Especially being in the middle of the field that's a nice skill to have."
Of York's five goals this season, Simpson has scored four and assisted on the other. It was the third 1-0 win and fourth one-goal victory for the defensive-minded Wildcats.
York controlled play after Simpson's goal, keeping the Yachtsmen trapped in their end. Falmouth did not have a second-half shot, and finished with two for the game.
"We had some difficulties making connections on our passes," Falmouth Coach Robin Haley said. "I think they were in the right space, but we just didn't really have the player that was moving to it. Our timing was a bit off today and, you know, give credit to York. They played a fundamentally sound game today and that was the difference in a one-goal game."
With four minutes left, Falmouth's Sarah Sparks was able to advance the ball over midfield, and the visitors approached the circle before a free hit was awarded to York. When the hit was taken quickly and turned over, Marois asked for a timeout.
"It was more of a little reminder of what we needed to focus on, to be sure with our passes and not to rush anything," Marois said.
York, which has won six of the past seven Western Class B titles, showed championship-caliber composure after the timeout, earning four consecutive penalty corners to seal the win.
"I'll take it. Yep, I'll take it," Marois said.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: email@example.com