Sophomore Erin Reilly scored the hat trick as Saline defeated Ladywood, 4-0, to advance to the elite eight in the Michigan High School Field Hockey Association playoffs.
Elaina Height also scored for the Hornets. Julia Bentley recorded the shutout in goal.
Saline will play the winner of the Marian-Detroit Country Day game in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Saline High School. The winner advances to the semifinals Thursday at Pioneer.
Saline, the fourth seed in the Division 1 standings, was the heavy favorite coming in. Saline won, 4-0, when the two teams played Sept. 11.
Coach Erica Reilly was happy to be moving on – even if there were a few areas of the game her Hornets must work on.
“It’s the playoffs. So a win is a win. I thought we did some things well. We didn’t give up much. We passed the ball around well. But we were 1-for-17 for corners. So that’s something we’re going to need to work on,” Reilly said.
Fortunately for Saline, Erin Reilly couldn’t be stopped.
“You could see in practice today she was fired up and ready to have a great game,” Coach Reilly said.
The Lady Hornets possessed the ball for about 90 percent of the game. Less than two minutes into the game, Saline opened the scoring. Bridget Skelly won a battle in the corner and passed back to Erin Reilly, who hammered a shot into the goal from 12 yards out.
After more pressure and more penalty corners, the Hornets added to their lead a little more than 10 minutes into the quarter. Again, it was Reilly with a 12-yard shot that was nearly as hard coming out as it was going in.
“It was in and out so fast I wasn’t sure it was a goal from where I was at,” coach Reilly said.
Saline finally made good on a penalty corner with 6:30 to play in the half. Grace Livsey played the ball in. Celest Roof whacked the ball toward the goal, where it was deflected by Hannah Jarvie. The change of direction caused a little chaos. The ball was cleared out a couple yards, but Height got to it first and then scored with a shot that was three feet high.
Saline led 3-0.
A little more than three minutes into the half, Reilly scored on another screamer from just outside the 10-yard line.
Coach Reilly has been encouraging her midfielders to shoot more. Today, Erin Reilly shot more and it was hard to argue with the results. She’d like to see more shots from Torey Douglas and Grace Livsey (who had a second half goal called back).
“We were looking at our stats and we’re not getting many shots from our midfielders. We’ve got good forwards who can tip the ball and make things happen,” Coach Reilly said. “Fortunately Erin was shooting today and she had a great game.”
Now the Hornets begin preparing for their quarterfinal matchup against either Marian or Detroit Country Day. Earlier this season the Hornets defeated Marian, 2-1, and Detroit Country Day, 3-0.
“They’re both good teams and we’ll need to be ready for a tough game,” coach Reilly said.
The SISU Mouth Guard 3 Stars
- Erin Reilly – Scored 3 of the 4 goals. Was practically unbeatable at midfield.
- Elaina Height – Scored Saline’s other goal – and the only goal to come off a corner.
- Grace Livsey – Played in a lot of good balls on the corners. Played well defensively and moved the ball up field nicely. A hard-working goal in front of the net was called back.