On a night when the Saline field hockey team honored its seniors, the Lady Hornets managed to come away with an important 2-1 victory over Marian.
Aerin Kwant and Erin Reilly scored for Saline and Natalie Groves scored for Marian.
Julia Bentley made several key saves to preserve Saline’s one-goal lead.
With the victory, the Hornets gained ground on Marian in the MHSFHA Division 1 standings. Saline improved to 10-3-0 while Marian fell to 10-3-1. Saline has two road games remaining before the playoffs. Marian has one game remaining.
Saline should finish fourth or fifth in the Division 1 standings.
The Hornets honored seniors Kari Szalay, Grace Livsey, Torey Douglas and Aerin Kwantz prior to the game.
It was fitting that Kwant opened the scoring in the opening minute of the game. Hannah Jarvie’s shot squeaked past the goalie and Kwantz was in position to fend off two defenders and whack the ball into the empty net.
It was Kwant’s first goal of the season.
“Aerin has been out most of the year, so it was great to see her come in on senior night and score a big goal,” coach Erica Reilly said. “She’s always had good hands around the net.”
Saline gave the goal back after a penalty corner. Bentley stopped the first shot but the rebound got in behind her and Groves knocked it out of the air and into the goal to tie the score.
Saline went back in front with 12 minutes to play in the half. The Hornets were on the attack when a foul was called against Marian. Erin Reilly wasted no time setting up. She pounced on the ball and sprinted into action, going to her backhand to fire a reverse hit bomb 15 yards along the ground and into the back of the net. The boom could be heard from Campus Parkway.
That was it for the scoring. Saline’s penalty corner troubles resumed in the second half. The Hornets went 0-for-6 on the corners. Saline pressured for much of the half but didn’t generate many clean shots on goal.
At the other end, Bentley wasn’t busy. But with Reilly out on a break, Marian poured on the pressure. Bentley kicked out three stops to keep Saline ahead. Szalay and Audrey Morton both did a great job breaking up dangerous rushes as Marian furiously pressed for the tying goal.
The SISU Mouthguard 3 Stars of the Game
- Erin Reilly – Reilly won the battle of the star midfielders against Anna Berg. Reilly set the tempo for the game and kept Saline on offense with several offensive zone keeps. Reilly’s reverse hit blast from 15 yards proved to be the game-winner.
- Kari Szalay – The Saline senior kept the dangerous Marian forwards at bay most of the night, with the help of junior Audrey Morton.
- Aerin Kwant – The Saline senior celebrated senior night be scoring her first goal of the season. It proved to be a big one – with one goal as the margin of victory.