WRIGHT TWP. — When the last two state Class 2A champions took the field Tuesday night, exceptional play was expected.
That’s exactly what the large crowd at Crestwood’s stadium got, as the 2012 champion Comets downed the 2011 champion, Wyoming Seminary, 2-0 in a WVC field hockey showdown.
The win was the 29th consecutive victory for the Comets.
“We know they are well coached and very skilled,” said Crestwood junior midfielder Casey Cole, who had an assist Tuesday. “We knew this game would be a challenge.”
Late goals in each half were the difference for Crestwood (10-0 WVC).
Maury Cronauer netted the game-winner in the 26th minute on a perfect penalty corner. The Comets connected three passes with precision, starting with the injection by Hannah Ackers to Elizabeth Dessoye at the top of the circle. Dessoye sent a flick toward the goal, where Morgan Kile was stationed like a basketball center in the low post. Kile fought off the Sem defenders on her back and angled the ball with a nifty redirection to Cronauer near the post on the stick side.
Cronauer lifted a shot that Sem goalie Mackenzie Gagliardi had no chance on.
“That was something going into this game. We were wondering how we were going to respond,” Crestwood coach Elvetta Gemski said. “The girls responded beautifully.”
Late in the second half, with the Blue Knights (7-2-1 WVC) pressuring for the tying goal, the Comets countered with some insurance. Cole danced through traffic near the 25-yard line and slipped a lead pass toward the circle. Marissa Surdy charged across from the wing trying to corral the ball about 15 yards from the net. With the ball beyond her normal reach, Surdy dove at it — reversing her stick and swatting at the escaping ball. Her shot rattled the backboard of the goal with just over five minutes remaining.
“We work well together,” Cole said of setting up Surdy. “I had to make some moves there. I’m just trying my best. It’s a team sport, though — it’s not about me.”
Cole did what was best for her team, setting up her senior teammate.
“She’s a really good player,” Cole said of Surdy. “Any shot she takes is a good one.”
Dallas Kendra earned the shutout with eight saves for Crestwood, including five in the second half. She batted away a ball lifted toward the goal by Morgan Malone and kicked away another shot by the senior. She turned aside a shot by Rebecca Schulman and a couple of opportunities by Mallory Lefkowitz, one of the top scorers in the league.
The shutout was complete when Lefkowitz made another valiant rush upfield, turning from the win to unleash a shot that Kendra stopped with her left leg.
“We had opportunities to score,” Sem coach Karen Klassner said. “Our corners were spot-on. Both teams played a very good game. Their offense … they put the ball in the cage when they need to.”
Gagliardi made eight saves — six in the first half — to keep the Blue Knights in the game. She turned aside other shots from Surdy, a pair of nice chances by Cole, a blast from the wing by Dessoye and a shot from close range by Ashleigh Thomas.
Crestwood 2, Wyoming Seminary 0
First half — 1. CRE, Maury Cronauer (Morgan Kile), 4:36. Second half — 2. CRE, Marissa Surdy (Casey Cole), 5:43.
Shots — SEM 10; CRE 12. Saves — SEM 8 (Mackenzie Gagliardi); CRE 8 (Dallas Kendra). Penalty corners — SEM 8; CRE 7.