The Stow-Munroe Falls field hockey team traveled to nearby Western Reserve Academy to welcome
Hilliard Darby to Northeast Ohio Aug. 27.
The Bulldogs got off to a quick start and dominated throughout. Senior forward Sam Houk scored four goals and sophomore forward Kia Tubergen added two scores, leading Stow to a 6-0 victory.
"I was very pleased with our passing today," said Stow coach Virginia Wohlabaugh. "The spacing on the field was very good and our passing was on target at every level.
"We have worked very hard on this aspect of the game throughout the preseason. And the defense held Darby scoreless as well, so it was a good team victory."
Stow was the early aggressor, pushing the ball deep into Darby's territory and earning a penalty corner just two minutes into the game.
After a pass by senior midfielder Jessica Lloyd, Houk blasted the ball toward the goal, but Darby's goalkeeper exacted a kick-save. The ball bounced back to Houk, who found the left corner of the net for an early 1-0 lead.
Darby immediately fought back and controlled the ball for several minutes, testing the Bulldogs defense. Stow's backline is anchored by senior defenders Gabriella Kingston, Maddy Fink and Audra Harris, and each took swipes at Darby's offense, thwarting several scoring opportunities.
Junior sweeper Kerri Lockard made an outstanding defensive stop as Darby threatened again. Lockard changed the field possession with a long hit to Junior midfielder Andrey Grone.
Grone teamed up with junior midfielder Madison Kalpac down the right boundary, finding senior forward Leanne Bunnell, who crossed the ball to Goodenow.
In defending Goodenow, Darby was penalized twice as Stow earned two consecutive corners. The Bulldogs took advantage and Houk punched in her second goal of the game with 17:26 remaining as Stow took a 2-0 lead.
After a Darby timeout, the game was played in between the 20s as both teams fought to control the ball.
Darby earned a barrage of corners, maintaining the ball deep into the Bulldogs defense, but Fink, Kingston, senior sweeper Kimmy Schirra and junior defensive back Jenna Lynner kept Darby at bay.
Sophomore goalkeeper Emma Hurguy came through with two kick saves to squelch Darby's scoring opportunities, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
To start the second half, Kingston and Fink fought off the advances and sent the ball up field to Goodenow in the center of the field.
Goodenow pushed through the core of Darby's defense and delivered a pass to Houk who completed her second hat-trick of the young season, scoring Stow's third goal at the 25:57 mark.
Bunnell then worked the right sideline after receiving a pass from Kingston, and found Houk at the front of the goal.
Houk delivered her fourth goal of the game, this time a no-look backhand shot with just over 23 minutes remaining in the game.
Darby continued to fight, gaining control of the ball until Schirra rebuffed the attack and sent the ball to Junior midfielder Jenna Deverall.
After a brief scuffle for possession, Goodenow sent a long pass to a sprinting Tubergen, who outran the Darby defense and found herself one-on-one versus the goalkeeper. Despite a massive pile-up at the goal, Tubergen pushed the ball into the net to increase Stow's lead to 5-0 with 18:15 remaining.
Junior forward Ella Roberts kept Stow's momentum going as she moved past one defender after another down the right sideline.
After a series of effective passes from Deverall to Roberts, the ball was at the right side of the goal, where a diving Roberts nudged the ball to the lip of the goal, where Tubergen came from the left side and punched the ball over the line for the final goal of the game.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Magnificat Sept. 1, but results were not available at press time.
Stow will travel to face state runner-up Hudson Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m.