09/25/08 — WCDS hosts first field hockey match

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WCDS hosts first field hockey match

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 25, 2008 12:46 PM

Steady improvement has been the top priority for Wayne Country Day's field hockey team during each match this season.

And the Chargers are getting better.

During the second half of its 3-0 loss to Cape Fear Academy on Wednesday afternoon, Wayne Country Day (0-4 overall) nearly notched its first goal of the season. Junior Georgia Tanner, who was battling a left-leg injury, fired a shot inside the 16-yard circle that rolled left of the goal.

Tanner pounded the dirt with her stick in frustration.

"We actually had a shot on goal and that has never happened for us," said first-year WCDS head coach Catherine Stuber. "That shows me that our midfield is getting to the forwards and they're able to get going. We haven't had those opportunities before offensively.

"We're fixing little things with every game and that's good."

Cape Fear (5-4) controlled possession nearly 75 percent of the time in Wayne Country Day's defensive third. Chargers goalie Rebecca Thompson recorded 18 saves and didn't allow a second-half goal.

Laura Balmer and Shelle Anderson assisted Thompson by clearing several balls that bounced toward the goal.

"We work on ball control all the time, but we just aren't there yet," said Tanner. "Our defense has to work very hard. Becca has great hand-eye coordination and does well keeping her feet together so the shots don't go through.

"I know wearing the helmet her peripheral vision is limited, but she does a great job telling the defense what to do since it's hard to hear me from the sideline."

In addition to Georgia Tanner's shot, the Chargers worked the ball into their offensive end on three other occasions in the second half. They had two breakaway chances turned back and another possession ended when the ball rolled out of bounds near the Cape Fear bench.

Coach Tanner felt the score didn't reflect her team's effort.

"I thought they did great ... was very pleased," said Tanner. "The transformation to me is remarkable to see where they were at the beginning of the season and where they are now.

"It's amazing."

Wayne Country Day is the lone Class 1-A school to sponsor field hockey statewide. While all four defeats have resulted in shutouts, Tanner remains optimistic that her team's day will come.

"For them to come out and try something new, says a lot about them as a whole," said Tanner. "They've thrown themselves into it and are doing really well. Today, they realized how much better they are and they were really proud of themselves.

"That's important."

And a progression in the learning curve.