by Jake Katz
A tough Cranford Cougar team overcame girls field hockey last Friday, beating them 2–0 at Kehler Stadium in the first round of the Union County Tournament.
Coach Caitlin MacDonald said: “The most impressive thing about Cranford on Friday was their ability to bounce back. We had just beat them 1–0 the previous weekend.”
The game started off fast for Westfield as the team won the faceoff and with quick passing, moved the ball upfield; however, the shot on goal went wide right.
Despite getting off that shot in the opening minutes, the Blue Devils rarely had the ball in their attacking third for the rest of the first half.
Most of the game was spent in the Blue Devils’ half of the field as the Cougars relentlessly attacked senior goalie Agatha Magierski with successive shots.
Senior forward Magda Magierski said of the loss, “The team dynamic as a whole was a little off partially because we have a few of our lineup out due to injury.”
In spite of many clutch saves by Agatha Magierski, Cranford’s Charly Hurley put one past her with 17:50 to go in the first half.
But the WHS defense collected itself, holding Cranford scoreless for the rest of the half. Dominated by a strong Cranford attack and a resilient WHS defensive unit, the second half played out much like the first. But with 5:30 left in the game, there was a battle for the ball in front of the Blue Devil net, ending with Hurly scoring her second of the match to make the final score 2–0, Cougars.
Senior Tri-Captain Morgan Maloney said: “I think that the team played well, but definitely not our best. Cranford definitely does not have better skills than us.”
Even though this loss knocks the Blue Devils out of the county tournament, they still have to finish the regular season. Their next game is Oct. 17 against Mount St. Dominic at Kehler Stadium.