The run of formidable opponents continued for the Stow-Munroe Falls field hockey team as both Maumee Valley Country Day and Ottawa Hills made the trek from Toledo to Stow Sept. 24.
It turned into a rough day for Stow, as it fell 2-0 to MVCD and 4-0 to Ottawa Hills.
However, Stow bounced back in a big way Sept. 26, as it defeated Orange 6-0 at Bulldog Stadium.
Stow's record stood at 5-8 as of press time.
The Hawks of Maumee Valley were the early aggressors and tested the Bulldogs defense early and often.
After the Hawks earned its second penalty corner of the game at the 14:20 mark in the first half, Stow goaltender Emma Hurguy deflected two shots on goal to keep the score knotted at 0-0.
Maumee Valley called a time-out with 11:42 in an effort to find its way through the stingy Bulldog defensive backfield, powered by seniors Audra Harris, Gabby Kingston and Maddy Fink, but Stow held its ground and the game remained tied at zero at halftime.
Maumee Valley came out of halftime in attack mode. Stow Senior midfielder Jessica Lloyd pushed away another offensive surge by the Hawks, but then Maumee Valley's Ella Foster battled through the defense and scored at the 25:54 mark of the second half to take a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs offense -- led by senior forwards Leanne Bunnell and Sam Houk and Sophomore forwards Katie Goodenow and Kia Tubergen -- fought to advance the ball down field, but the Hawks defense was stout. Stow earned two penalty corners with about 15 minutes remaining, but Maumee Valley gained control of the ball on each occasion.
With 6:17 remaining in the game, the Hawks took advantage of their final corner of the game and Maddie Peek found the back of the net to take a 2-0 lead.
Hurguy recorded seven saves for the Bulldogs.
In game two, Ottawa Hills outgunned the Bulldogs, recording 12 shots on goal and earning 13 penalty corners, on their way to a 4-0 victory.
The Green Bears took advantage of their third corner of the game as Tessa Koury scored her first of three goals at the 22:50 mark of the first half. The Green Bears earned eight corners in the first half, but the Bulldogs defense hung tough, led by Kingston, Fink and Harris, along with junior sweeper Kerri Lockard. The game remained 1-0 heading into halftime.
After an Ottawa Hills corner with 27:58 remaining in the game, Lloyd made an outstanding stick-save, thwarting another scoring opportunity. But Koury struck again as she navigated through the Bulldogs defense and scored her second goal of the game at the 27:10 mark.
Koury kept the pressure on and picked up the hat-trick with 21:44 remaining and the Green Bears took a commanding 3-0 lead.
Ottawa Hills played exceptional defense throughout the game, as the Bulldogs were unable to record a shot on goal.
As the game was winding down, Ottawa Hills' Ellie Westmeyer scored to make it 4-0.
Emma Hurguy recorded seven saves for the Bulldogs in the loss.
Following the sweep, the Bulldogs were revitalized Sept. 26 as they dominated Orange throughout the game, taking a 6-0 victory behind four goals by Houk.
The Bulldogs offense set the stage early, earning four penalty corners within the first 15 minutes before Houk scored her first goal at the 14:06 mark of the first half. The Bulldogs kept the pressure on the Lions defense, producing four more corners in the next six minutes. Finally, Orange's defense buckled as Lloyd delivered a perfect pass to Houk, who scored with just over eight minutes remaining as Stow took a 2-0 lead.
Stow's scoring opportunities continued as the Bulldogs offense kept the ball deep in Orange's territory, as Goodenow advanced the ball and found Houk on the left side. Houk delivered again to make it 3-0.
Stow's midfielders and defensive backfield played an excellent game as well. Along with Lloyd, Fink, Kingston, Harris and Kimmie Schirra kept the Lions at bay throughout the game. Junior midfielders Audrey Grone, Madison Kalpac and Lockard all played pivotal roles in shutting out the Lions.
The Bulldogs offense picked up the tempo once again to start the second half, earning four more corners before sophomore Maddie Gash found the back of the net with 14:44 remaining to advance Stow's advantage to 4-0.
Two minutes later, Goodenow battled her way through Orange's defense and scored a goal to widen the lead to 5-0.
Stow wasn't quite finished, as Tubergen picked up the assist on Houk's fourth goal of the game, delivering a 6-0 final victory over the Lions.
The game marked the third time this year that Houk has scored three or more goals this season.
Hurguy and Freshman goalie Audrey Stone pitched the shut-out for the Bulldogs.
Stow was to host Laurel Sept. 29 for Senior Night, but results were not available at press time. The Bulldogs were set to recognize Schirra, Houk, Kingston, Fink, Harris, Lloyd and Leanne Bunnell before the game.
Stow will return to action Oct. 6 at Hawken School at 4:30 p.m.