Fifth-ranked Reading nips ninth-ranked Winchester in field hockey thriller

WINCHESTER – Natalie Wall nonetheless takes the blame for not clearing an expired-time defensive nook in a sport from two years in the past, which Watertown used to attain and narrowly beat her Reading area hockey group.

Thursday evening, the No. 5 Rockets (9-0) received the job achieved this time in opposition to one other one in every of their Middlesex League thorns, staving off two late corners to carry onto a 1-0 win over beforehand unbeaten No. 9 Winchester (6-1).

Two of Reading goalie Myles Lakin’s seven saves got here on a Red and Black nook in expired time, preserving the one-goal lead Danielle Bowers tipped in with 3:31 left to play as a part of a large win for the Rockets.

“It was thrilling,” mentioned Reading head coach Taylor Reynolds. “Winchester has always been a rival for us. So if anything, that just proves to us that we’re a team to be reckoned with sort of thing. If we can compete against Winchester, we can compete against some of the best teams in the state because they are one.”

Both defenses made this as gritty of a sport as any, largely neutralizing the bevy of alternatives every group produced.

Lakin and the Reading protection shut out Winchester regardless of its 10 offensive corners, together with eight in a powerful first half. Red and Black goalie Molly Hillier performed phenomenally reverse Lakin with 24 saves, whereas teammates in entrance of her needed to defuse an onslaught of Reading alternatives because the Rockets dominated possession within the second half.

It wasn’t till the ultimate 4 minutes that both group may acquire a bonus on the scoreboard, and it was becoming that it got here on a tip. Hillier got here out of the objective on the fitting aspect of the circle to register two saves by the endline, so Ava Goodwin pulled the ball again and despatched it to the stroke-line space. A shot from Libby Quinn led to a Bowers tip that went excessive on the left publish for the eventual game-winner.

“It was like the best moment ever, I think I jumped two feet into the air,” Wall mentioned of watching it. “I don’t think our forwards let up ever.”

Winchester head coach Michelle White was impressed with the best way her group stored the sport scoreless for therefore lengthy contemplating the power and velocity Reading exhibited to constantly apply stress within the second half. Madison von Mering and Eireann Walsh particularly stood out in entrance of Hillier, whereas Wall and Caroline Gallegos led the Rockets in stopping a lot from passing their very own 25.

Bowers’ tip proved sufficient for Reading’s document to stay good, which additional emphasizes the significance of the Rockets’ defensive stand on Winchester’s eight corners within the first half. But none had been extra essential than the ultimate two that Reading held off, which included a diving save from Lakin earlier than a transparent secured the win.

“I was proud of our defensive corners,” Wall mentioned. “In the past we have had some problems with over the time limit corners. … But I think in those moments, our composure and being able to be confident in the circle, and just realize that we know how to get it out (showed up to get the win).”