Saline defeated Chelsea 1-0 to advance to the Division 1 Field Hockey quarterfinals. Skyline, which beat Saline 2-1 when the teams played Sept. 21, will host Saline on Tuesday.
On a rainy night at Hornet Stadium, Senior Kaleigh Riggs scored the game’s only goal with 5:20 to play in the first half. Riggs’ goal came on a penalty corner. Senior Abby Morton played the ball out to senior Shannon Reilly. She faked the shot and passed left to Riggs’ who, from the nine-yard line, one-timed a high shot past Chelsea goalie Payton Doan.
“It was a great passing play and Kaleigh finished it off with a beautiful ball,” coach Erica Reilly said.
When these two teams met Sept. 27, Saline won 7-0. The constant rain left puddles on the turf and that seemed to impact the Hornets more than the Bulldogs. Saline mostly controlled the play in the game’s opening minutes, but Chelsea did manage a couple strong attacks and was awarded a corner.
Coach Reilly called time-out to talk to the girls about the field conditions.
“We’re used to a faster style of play and the water on the field definitely slowed us down. I reminded the girls of the conditions and told them to play like they’re playing on natural grass. The ball moves a lot slower. Employ lifts to get the ball out. Come back to get the ball,” Reilly said. “We adjusted and did a good job.”
Early in the game Hannah Jarvie created a nice opportunity with a rush up the right wing. Devin Reilly picked up the loose ball and fired a hard shot that Doan turned aside. Later in the half, Jarvie beat two Bulldog defenders and managed a good backhand shot that Doan turned aside. The ball went to the other side of the goal. After good work by Emily Maloney, Bridget Skelly swept a shot that seemed to ride the goal-line and come out the other side.
With 5:40 to play in the half, Saline was awarded a penalty corner. Shannon Reilly’s shot was deflected out of bounds and Saline was awarded another penalty corner. Morton played it out to Reilly, who set up Riggs for the goal.
The second half was all Saline. The Hornets were awarded penalty corner after penalty corner but couldn’t beat the Chelsea defense often. When they did, Doan was there to kick out the shots.
“It was tough. They don’t leave a lot of room on the corners.” Coach Reilly said. “Chelsea gave it their all. They’ve got a very good keeper in Payton Doan. She’s tough. You’re not going to get much by her.”
Saline’s defense didn’t allow a shot on goal during the game. Julia Bentley was credited with the shutout.
Penalty corners will be on the list of things to work on when Saline practices Friday morning. Opportunities won’t be as frequent against a tough Skyline team. Coach Reilly said the Hornets are excited about the rematch.
“Last time, we played a tough game and they scored the winner with six minutes to play,” Reilly said.
Saline, in fact, led the game 1-0 at halftime.
“They have a great team. They’re well coached and have a lot of talented girls. It’s going to be a great challenge and we look forward to it,” Reilly said.
The SISU Mouth Guard 3 Stars:
Kaleigh Riggs – Scored the game’s only goal on a great shot.
Shannon Reilly – Set up the game’s only goal and was at the center of the action through the entire game.
- Abby Morton – Good set up on the penalty corner and played tough defense to keep the Bulldogs away from the Hornet cage.