LEHMAN TWP. — Just when Jean Lipski thought she had seen everything in her 33 seasons as Lake-Lehman’s head coach, Crestwood came to visit.
In their first game on the black turf, the Comets were lights out. They scored six times in the first 8:50 of play to post a 6-2 victory in what was to be a battle of two of the top teams in WVC Division 1-2A.
“I’ve never had six goals scored against one of our teams like that,” Lipski said. “I don’t have any explanation. I told them in the timeout that they had to start playing or it’s going to be 60-0.”
The defending state champions scored on their first shot, and six of the game’s first nine attempts at goal. The Comets (8-0 in WVC) kept Lehman (5-2-1) from gaining possession on the offensive side of the midfield stripe while simply churning into the Knights’ circle and firing away.
• One minute in, the Comets earn a corner. Ashleigh Thomas passes to Marissa Surdy, who blasts from the wing. Morgan Kile is in front for a perfect redirection.
• Just 1:23 later, Surdy has a reverse-stick shot on a corner swatted down by Knights keeper Tif Malinowski, only to have Crestwood draw another corner. This time, Surdy winds up and blasts a shot that clips a defender and hit the backboard of the goal.
• Ninety-one seconds after that, Casey Cole has a ticketed shot kicked away by Malinowski. Cole, though, springs to the rebound and lifts a shot into the top corner of the goal on the stick side, making it 3-0 Crestwood 4:06 in.
• Cole does it again, scoring her second goal 1:40 later on another corner. Surdy takes the injection pass from Thomas and looks to her left for Cole, who slips a shot stick side into the net.
• Less than two minutes later, Surdy gains possession in traffic in front of the Lehman goal and dishes a nifty backhand pass to Thomas, who pushes the ball home for a five-goal edge.
• Eighty-six seconds had elapsed when Hannah Ackers moved to the middle of the circle and finds a deflected crossing ball coming her way. She fires a shot from point-blank range for a 6-0 lead.
“Well executed,” Crestwood coach Elvetta Gemski said of the amazing start. “And well supported by everyone on the field. It’s always the goal entering the game to start strong. Our passing was sharp and quick. I was very pleased with their level (of play) at the beginning of the game.”
The 51 minutes that followed were more of what was expected. Shots were 8-7 Lehman the rest of the way, while Crestwood enjoyed a 4-2 edge in corners called after the outburst.
The Comets did go to their bench, but starters were also still rotated into play.
“All of them went in and performed their roles well,” Gemski said. “We were under pressure until the end and they were able to withstand it.”
Lehman refused to quit playing, instead seeming to catch the Comets off-guard when Sarah Sabaluski ripped a blast from the top of the circle in the 29th minute to end the potential shutout.
Sabaluski set up another Lehman goal midway through the second half as the Knights cashed in a corner. Alyssa Adams’ shot from the circle was stopped by Comets defensive back Megan McCole. The rebound went to Sabaluski, who connected with Tracy Snyder to make it 6-2.
“Oh, my goodness. Take away those first eight minutes and this is a different game,” Lipski said. “For them to come back from that, that’s character. More than a field hockey game, it shows character in the game of life. I’m really proud of them for that. Our kids dug deeply and didn’t quit.
“It was a hard lesson they had to learn. But this game will move them light years ahead moving forward.”
First half — 1. CRE, Morgan Kile (Marissa Surdy), 28:58; 2. CRE, Surdy (Ashleigh Thomas), 27:25; 3. CRE, Casey Cole, 25:54; 4. CRE, Cole (Surdy), 24:04; 5. CRE, Thomas, 22:36; 6. CRE, Hannah Ackers, 21:10; 7. LEH, Sarah Sabaluski, 1:33. Second half — 8. LEH, Tracy Snyder (Sabaluski), 17:24.
Shots — CRE 16; LEH 8. Saves — CRE 4 (Dallas Kendra); LEH 9 (Tif Malinowski). Penalty corners — CRE 8; LEH 2.