Old Saybrook Field Hockey Caps Outstanding Regular Season with 2-1 Week
Junior Grace Adams and the Old Saybrook field hockey team finished the year with a 7-2-1 record after playing their final three games of the regular season last week. Adams scored a hat trick in a 6-1 victory over Haddam-Killingworth on Nov. 4. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
The Old Saybrook field hockey squad has put together an outstanding run this year. The Rams ended the regular season with a 7-2-1 record, and their only losses came against North Branford, who is No. 1 in the Shoreline standings.
After taking a week off of games due to quarantines, Old Saybrook played three games last week and came away with two wins and one loss on the slate. The Rams still had three starters sitting out for the three scheduled games, but they were able to cobble together a competitive squad when some younger student-athletes stepped up big time.
On Nov. 2, the Rams headed to Valley Regional and claimed a 3-2 overtime victory over the Warriors. Old Saybrook had to shake off some early rust in the contest after falling behind 2-0 in the first half, but the Rams finished with a bang scoring goals in the third and fourth quarters as well as the decisive overtime goal.
Grace Adams got the Rams back into the game with a pair of unassisted goals during regulation. The overtime goal was scored by Taylor Stone on an assist by Libby Stuart. Rams’ Head Coach Nancy Gatta was impressed with the way that Adams carried Old Saybrook into overtime.
“That was our first game back after the week off from the quarantine. It was difficult to get going on the field after the week layoff. Grace came through at the end of the third quarter. That gave us some momentum going into the fourth. She put us on her shoulders and took us into overtime,” Gatta said. “Taylor put it in for the finish after an amazing set up by Kayla who dribbled the ball up the length of the field. She crossed it, and it went out of bounds. Libby took the shot through the Valley defense and Taylor took the one-time shot right into the cage.”
Two days later, the Rams headed to Haddam-Killingworth to take on the Cougars and claimed a 6-1 victory in the road contest. Old Saybrook sent shots flying against H-K, and Adams had another outstanding effort in the win, notching a hat trick. Stone added two goals in the victory, while Holt supplied a goal and two assists. Libby Stuart had a helper, as did Hailey Stone.
Coach Gatta believes that Adams has really developed into a huge presence for the Rams this season, and she serves as a great complement to the Stone-Holt combo leading to a potent offense. At the conclusion of the regular season, Stone had 15 goals and seven assists, leading the Shoreline Conference in points. Holt tallied eight goals and seven assists and was No. 5 in points in the Shoreline, while Adams had eight goals and an assist for No. 6 in the Shoreline in points.
“Grace has really been practicing a lot and finding the positioning in front of the cage. She’s getting defections and rebounds off the pads. She’s been getting some important goals for us,” Gatta said. “Taylor and Kayla are the PB and J. They know each other so well. It’s so fluid: they move the ball and pass it to each other without even talking. It’s instinctual. Kayla knows exactly where Taylor is going to be, and she can put the ball in the right spot for Taylor to run onto it. It’s pretty to watch.”
The next day, Old Saybrook hosted North Branford and dropped a 3-0 decision against the Thunderbirds. Unfortunately, Old Saybrook was still without three of its starters, and that lack of depth showed on the defensive end. North Branford went up 2-0 in the first quarter and added another goal in the second. Coach Gatta knew that North Branford would be a tough task in any situation, but the lack of seasoned defenders played a big role in this loss.
“When you’re missing three key players and two of them start on defense, North Branford is a tough team to beat. They scored all three goals on corners. They just get you to foul in the circle. We couldn’t stop them there,” said Gatta. “We were able to play them closer in the first game of the season. We were actually the only team to score on North Branford all year. They shut out every other team. They are a solid.”