(Chelsea Update would like to thank Angela Menegay for the information and photo in this story.)
On Oct. 5, the Beach Middle School field hockey team traveled to the Toledo area for back-to-back games, starting with a contest against Ottawa Hills where the Bulldogs were edged out 2-1.
Despite scoring opportunities presented in three offensive corner plays, the Bulldogs’ rocky first half failed to convert any goals. The team stepped it up in the second half of the game, with aggressive play by forwards and midfielders Azlyn Eckert, Lucy Taylor, and Lindsey Partyka. During the third quarter, the Bulldogs’ renewed energy paid off with a goal by Teresa Smith, assisted by Emily Heiss. Keygan Monahan as center back, Naomi Ratliff as sweeper, and Abbie Nye and Brenna Taylor as left and right backs showed strong leadership and skilled stickwork on the defensive line, while Slater Boos effectively transitioned the ball through the midfield.
The team promptly headed to Maumee Valley Country Day School, where the Bulldogs overwhelmed the young Maumee Valley team 6-0. From the starting whistle, the Bulldogs quickly put pressure on the Maumee Valley team with four offensive corners and kept up the momentum with Kahlen Eckert scoring the first goal of the game, assisted by Braiden Scheffler. During a second quarter corner play, Scheffler accurately inserted the ball to Monahan, who scored with a hard hit near the top of the circle.
Chelsea’s scoring streak accelerated during the second half, with goals scored into the fading evening light by Smith, Scheffler (assisted by K. Eckert), Partyka (assisted by Nye), and Lily Spiess. As a midfielder, Boos actively kept the ball down the field to maximize scoring opportunities. In the defensive line, Caitlyn Ash, Ratliff, Kaitlin Kubicki, Grace Kapolka, and Sabrina Wescott minimized shots on goal from the opposing team by keeping the ball out of the circle.
On Oct. 8, the Beach Middle School team hosted Pinckney, prevailing 3-0. Azlyn Eckert quickly netted a goal from the post position in the first quarter. Maddy McCollum’s strategic positioning in the second quarter captured a goal, assisted by Cecilia Bayer. Arianna Reginaldo and L. Taylor kept up the pressure in the scoring circle in the third quarter, while Brinna Wenzel and Ash maneuvered in Chelsea’s defensive end to reduce shots against goalie Emma Woodard. In the fourth quarter, A. Eckert closed out the game decisively with her second goal of the evening.
On Oct. 10, the middle school team participated in Chelsea Field Hockey’s annual Play4TheCure event at the Chelsea Stadium in which all money raised was contributed to cancer research at The National Foundation for Cancer Research.
Pink spirit wear was generously supplied to the team by the Spiess family, and the players made posters in support of the event to line the stadium stands. Chelsea hosted the Saline middle school team for the event, which closed with a 1-1 tie. During the first half, the Bulldogs were not able to convert corner opportunities despite a strong play involving Boos inserting to Partyka, who passed to Reginaldo for a shot attempt.
Forwards and midfielders Heiss, Nye, Bayer, and Smith were consistently aggressive with moving the ball into Saline’s scoring circle, but Saline’s defense held. During the second half, a 40-yard break away by Spiess put the ball into play for K. Eckert, who scored Chelsea’s first and only goal of the game. Solid blocking by Westcott, Wenzel, and Ratliff and jab tackling by L. Taylor, combined with effective goalkeeping by Ratliff and Woodard against persistent shots by the Hornets, maintained the game at a draw.
The team would like to thank all those who made contributions of time or money to the Play4TheCure event.