Covenant field hockey knows how important it is to develop its roster. To give their young players opportunities and help them refine their skills whenever possible.
That’s why after a 2-0 victory over Western Albemarle Tuesday night where every field player got in the mix in some capacity, coach Alan Good was working with one his first year players, Stella Maton, who has started every game, on how she approaches the ball when she’s trying to run it down.
“We have 17 players on varsity and three or four are actually beginners, they only took the sport up at some time this year,” said Covenant coach Alan Good. “They’re super sweet girls with a huge work rate and they’re athletic, so it’s just about trying to harness that ability.”
That intensive, detailed approach is paying off for the Eagles who are 5-0 as they continue building around a stellar core group of seniors — Ivy Allen, Melissa McGlothlin, Megan McGlothlin and Chloe Mitchell. Allen was instrumental in the win over the Warriors, notching the first goal off a short corner set piece. Allen inserted to Claire McCartney who then went back to Allen for the goal.
Allen then assisted on the Eagles’ second goal with 18:27 left which came in the regular flow of play when Abi Shim found the back of the cage.
“We’ve been working on sending balls to open space and not necessarily to players as well as our spacing,” Allen said. “We still have some work to do but that really helped.”
While the Eagles have struggled to get matches in of late with the weather and even had to shift Tuesday’s match to Western’s turf to get it in, Allen pointed out that they were mixing it up enough during training to stay fresh and keep improving.
“We’ve been able to do a lot of different kinds of workouts,” Allen said. “Instead of just being on the field playing hockey, we did a two-mile run and played some fun cardio games. We’ve done our own cardio workouts given by coaches. It has been kind of nice to take a break and then we were hungry when we came back.”
Western couldn’t break through to get on the scoreboard and only managed to get a single shot on Eagles keeper Erin Flynn who turned it away. But considering the Warriors’ youth, the performance against a seasoned Covenant squad was a solid one.
“I know they were very good so I thought we played some of our best hockey that we’ve played in a while,” said Western coach Mia Fields. “We battled the whole night.”
The Warriors are facing a tough week this week as they’ll battle Albemarle Thursday night in a key Jefferson District clash while the Eagles will look to keep things rolling the same day at home against Carlisle.