NEWINGTON - Two games ago on senior night against Windsor the Newington field hockey team moved defender Kelly Iskra to offense and it resulted in three goals and the second win of the season for the Indians.
But Monday afternoon against Avon, there was no offensive production to be found on the field for the Indians as they lost their second straight game 7-0 against the Falcons.
Avon was the dominant team on the field, running up and down ClemLemire Athletic Complex and featuring a dynamic offensive attack that had six different players score throughout the game. The Falcons scored three goals in the first half and were stronger in the second half, putting in four more.
While the offensive struggles were worrisome, Newington head coach Victoria Grubin believes the team is still making fixes on that side of the field and that the offense will only improve as the season continues down the stretch.
“We’re still working on our new offensive lineup,” Grubin said. “So those changes kind of played into the game as well. But they’re working hard for it and they’re trying to figure it out.”
The defense for the Indians was stronger than the seven goals on the scoreboard would suggest.
With Avon’s offensive attack swarming her all game, Indians goalie Sharon Sherpa made 12 saves and without her performance in goal, the seven-goal deficit could have been much worse.
While the pressure isn’t something any goalie wants to deal with, Sherpa didn’t let that deter her from the type of game she likes to play.
“No matter the score, I always think we’re ahead and I’m trying to protect our lead,” Sherpa said. “Whatever happens I try to keep my head up.”
Six different players scored for the Falcons, who dominated possession throughout the entire game.
Avon got goals from Ava Calma, Kayla Case, Megan Gilbey, Jamie Bubenstein, Sarah Thomas and two from Paige Deppe. Thomas and Lillian Satlof had assists in the game for the Falcons.
The talent level of the Falcons was no secret to anybody watching.
“They were very fast and very skilled stick skills wise,” Grubin said. “I think we struggled with how to adapt to that and move forward. They’re obviously a very good team.”
With the offense holding possession, it meant strong defense as well. The limited offensive opportunities the Indians had came on bad shot attempts, just trying to get any sort of pressure on the Falcons goalie Kathryn Pringle.
“I feel like there were a lot of minor mistakes, and as a whole, that set us back,” Newington senior Kelly Iskra said. “For me personally, my stick skills could have been better and I made silly mistakes. We just have to get better as a team.”
Although the chances for the Indians were limited, they had a couple chances that had the look of a strong possession before Avon’s defense got its chance to shine as well.
Early in the second half, Newington’s McKenna DeLuca came up with a steal and ran all the way down the field but her opportunity just came up short as Avon’s defense took the ball back from DeLuca.
Kathryn Damato also had some strong possessions for Newington in the game but Avon’s ability to take the ball away and transition into an offensive attack was too much for the Indians.
With the loss Newington fell to 2-6-1 on the season and will be travelling to take on Simsbury on Wednesday afternoon at 5:15 p.m.
The Falcons moved to 7-1 on the season with the win.