FIELD HOCKEY: Saline Defeats Huron, Advances to Semifinal
ANN ARBOR - Saline defeated Huron, 3-1, to advance to the Michigan High School Field Hockey Association Division 1 semifinal.
Payton Malone, Tenley Schrzan and Maya Prasad scored for the Hornets, who were bolstered by great defense from captain Shae Murphy and strong goaltending by Abby Kleinschmidt.
Saline plays the top-seeded Dexter at 7 p.m., Thursday, at Novi High School.
Saline built a 2-0 lead on Huron in the first half, survived an onslaught in the third quarter, and then iced the game with a goal midway through the fourth quarter.
Coach Erica Reilly was happy with the team's victory.
"I was super pleased with the players. We stuck to the gameplan. We had one tough quarter, but we came here, we did what we needed to do. We scored some goals and in the end it was a 3-1 win, so I'm super excited," Reilly said.
After building a 2-0 lead, Huron took the attack to the Hornets in the third quarter as the Hornets struggled through the windy, rainy weather. The Hornets persevered.
"I told the girls, it's not the team with the most skill, it's going to be the team with the most desire that wins this game. It's going to be the team that's not affected by the weather," Reilly said. "I think we did a nice job."
Saline was strong on the counterattacks throughout the night, using speed and well-placed passes to open gap and generate dangerous runs.
The Hornets were also great on corners.
The first goal was scored on a corner late in the first period. Maya Prasad played in to Emelia Little, who fired a hard shot on goal. The Huron goalie got a piece of it, but Payton Maloney deflected it into the net past a diving River Rat defender.
Late in the second quarter, Saline scored a huge goal. Little charged up the middle and fired a shot the Huron goalie couldn't control. The ball got behind her and Tenley Schrzan was there to pounce on the loose ball and tap it into the empty cage. Saline took the 2-0 goal into halftime.
In the third quarter, Huron threw everything they had at the Hornets and, for the most part, kept the Hornets stuck in their own end. Midway through the quarter, the River Rats finally capitalized on a penalty corner, scoring on a scramble after Kleinschmidt had made the first stop.
Coach Reilly challenged the girls to stiffen up their defense in the fourth quarter and they responded. Midway through the fourth a dangerous rush by the Hornets resulted in a penalty corner. Once again, the Hornets capitalized. Prasad played in to Little, who one-timed the shot toward the goal. It was deflected right to Prasad, who batted the ball into the goal.