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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 11, 2008

Guilderland field hockey dominates possession

By Jordan Michael

SCOTIA –– The Scotia-Glenville field hockey team never really had a chance against the Lady Dutch on Monday. Guilderland constantly had control of the ball.

The Lady Dutch won, 1 to 0, but could have scored multiple times. “We were hanging around the net a lot,” said Coach Kelly Vrooman. “One goal is all that we needed.”

Field hockey is a low-scoring game. Monday’s game stopped frequently, due to a penalty or obstruction. “Field hockey is slower than most sports. It runs at the same pace as girls’ lacrosse,” said Vrooman.

The game is like a cross of lacrosse and soccer. Each team has 11 players on the field. “You need to have great eye-hand coordination,” said Vrooman.

The first half was filled with penalty corners for both Guilderland and Scotia. “A penalty corner is given when the defense fouls within the circle,” Vrooman said. “The attacker can put the ball in play from the end line, 10 yards from the closest goal post.”

When Guilderland received a penalty corner, Scotia’s defense stood in the goal and the rest of the team waited behind the half line. The Lady Dutch offense stood around the circle. “Players can move after the ball is hit,” said Vrooman.

The game was scoreless after the first half.

Guilderland dominated the second half, keeping the ball in Scotia’s defense zone. Scotia crossed into the Lady Dutch defensive zone only three or four times in the 30- minute half. Guilderland goaltender Beth Meyers, who played in the Empire State Summer Games this year, was able to take a vacation.

The Lady Dutch got a goal from Chelsea Weston, with 18:36 left in the game. The assist went to Kat Keegan. The goal came right after a score for Guilderland was called off, due to an obstruction. “I told the girls if they kept pressuring the net, they would get a goal,” Vrooman said.

There are three different types of obstruction in field hockey. Each obstruction results in a penalty and change of possession. “Obstruction is the most frequent penalty,” said Vrooman. “Some people don’t like it, but it’s part of the game.”

An obstruction can be called when a player moves herself or her stick into another player, shields the ball with the stick or her body, or when a third player interferes with two players already playing the ball.

“It can get confusing to someone new,” said Vrooman.

One goal was all Guilderland needed to win the match over Scotia-Glenville. It was a non-league match-up, outside the team’s usual Suburban Council competition.

“The grass is too long here,” said Vrooman. “We have a smoother field at home; faster play.”

Guilderland’s field-hockey program has only been around since 2001. It recently added a new youth league for more exposure.

“All our games are very competitive and we’re learning every day,” said Vrooman. “But watch out, we can get really focused and beat a big-name team.”

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