Sailors’ fast start leads to shutout

FIELD HOCKEY: Newport Harbor scores two goals within first five minutes in fourth straight Sunset League win.

October 10, 2007|By Andrew Snyder

COSTA MESA — A fast start was a good answer to Harvard-Westlake High’s aggressive and physical style of play for the Newport Harbor field hockey team, which added its fourth consecutive Sunset League win Tuesday.

How’s this for a fast start: within five minutes of play, the Sailors were already ahead, 2-0. They went on to blank the Wolverines, 4-0, Tuesday at Harper Community Center.

Claire Layton scored the opening goal, putting Newport (12-3-2, 4-0 in league) in the driver seat and allowing the Sailors to work the offense the way they wanted.


The Sailors’ co-captains collaborated on a play for the second goal, with Samantha Hill passing the ball across the middle and Katy Storch putting it in the back of the cage.

Newport was off to a rolling start, looking faster, cleaner with its passing and creating more chances to run and score.

“I think we passed really quickly which is good because when we go slower, they have an easier time taking [the ball] away,” Hill said. “We kept the momentum going which allowed us to score more goals.”

The open space and the movement of the Sailors would not last too much longer, as Harvard-Westlake played the strategy card and moved all 10 players up the field.

This stopped any chance of Newport clearing the ball from its end and running the field.

“They pushed everybody up, all 10 field players up,” Harbor Coach Devon Kelly said. “They were marking my one forward, double marking her and so we had to do something on the other side of the field to get it down. Bringing 10 players within the 50 [yard mark] is always tough.”

The Sailors had to get tough as well.

The Harvard-Westlake team is one that has a reputation of being physical which Newport knew going into the match.

“They were checking us after we passed the ball and that tends to get us angry, but it makes us play harder and better,” Hill said.

The push by Harvard-Westlake seemed to work, but only for so long.

Newport’s third goal came on a play that Storch started. She passed to Shannon Rohan at the top and then down in the middle to Hill, who finished.

Brooke Nelson also scored on a give-and-go play with Claire Ramser.

ANDREW SNYDER may be reached at (714) 966-4616.

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