MILLTOWN -- The Tower Hill School field hockey team took advantage of a breakaway attack late in the first half to jump-start its offense and eventually run past host St. Mark's High 3-0 Tuesday afternoon in a nonconference showdown.
Lindsay Griffith had two goals and an assist for top-ranked Tower Hill (3-0).
Lauren Ianni scored off a penalty corner with 3:03 left in the game to seal the win in the debut of the newly resodded field at St. Mark's (1-1).
The Hillers, two-time defending state champions, were blanked on four straight penalty corners over a seven-minute span in the early going. The last of those was awarded with 17:23 left before halftime.
After that, the Spartans were the aggressors. But St. Mark's just couldn't find the cage, and eventually the Hillers broke through.
Ianni hurried the ball up the right side and made a tight crossing pass to Griffith, who put Tower Hill ahead 1-0 with 6:19 left before halftime. Ianni said that as the right wing for the team, she was just doing her job in pouncing on the scoring opportunity. Griffith described Ianni's pass as "perfect."
Griffith said the seemingly simple scoring connection with Ianni was the result of the two seniors being field hockey teammates for so long.
"We always know where the other is going to be," Griffith said.
Tower Hill went ahead 2-0 less than five minutes into the second half, when Griffith took control of a shot that hit off the left post. She quickly shot the ball back into the cage -- the result of being "in the right place at the right time," Griffith said.
The goal by Ianni late in the game, assisted by Griffith, allowed Tower Hill to go 1-for-9 on penalty corners.
St. Mark's earned two of its five penalty corners in the second half, but in the second half had no shots on goal.
"In the first half, we felt that we were right with them, and I know in the second half we wanted [to do well] but we just didn't," said St. Mark's junior Courtney Schweizer. "Tower Hill is a really, really good team and they just kept attacking and attacking. A lot of us were just watching the game more than playing it."
by Buddy Hurlock -- 324-2807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by William Bretzger
Reprinted with permission of The News Journal