FITCHBURG — The Monty Tech field hockey team took its act on the road Friday afternoon, traveling across the city to the St. Bernard’s Activity Center to take on the host Bernardians.
The Bulldogs set the tone early with two first-quarter goals and never looked back, defeating the Bernardians 3-1.
Monty Tech improves to 3-1-1 and returns to action on Saturday morning when it visits North Middlesex Regional.
“We play our home games on turf so it’s an adjustment when we play on a grass field,” said Monty Tech head coach Cassie Skinner. “We’ve had a couple of grass games lately so we’ve had to make the adjustment because it’s a different game. I didn’t think we played out best game today despite coming out with a win.”
The Bernardians fall to 0-2 with the setback.
“That’s a good Monty Tech team. I thought we were a little flat-footed in the first half and there was a lack of communication between the girls but I thought we picked it up in the second half,” said St. Bernard’s head coach Holly Mason. “We are creating opportunities offensively and we are going to eventually start cashing in on those.”
The Purple and Gold wasted little time drawing first blood when Olivia McKenzie beat Bernardians goalie Ava Legendre (eight saves) from in close for a 1-0 Monty Tech lead with 5:28 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs doubled their advantage 2:08 later when Haylie Mahoney found the back of the cage. Mahoney’s goal was assisted by Ella Pirri.
It remained a two-goal advantage for the Bulldogs until the closing minute of the third quarter when Pirri notched a goal of her own, taking a feed from Mahoney and finding the back of the net with 53 seconds remaining in the stanza.
The Bernardians, who were held scoreless in their first game of the season against Tahanto Regional last Friday, entered the fourth quarter still looking for their first goal of the season. St. Bernard’s freshman midfielder Emily Terho ended the scoreless streak at seven quarters when she managed to put a scoring bid past Monty Tech goalie Abbie Law (10 saves) with 4:33 remaining in the contest to make it a 3-1 score.
“It’s exciting. That was a great goal. The first one of the season for us,” said Mason. “I told the girls that our goal in the fourth quarter was to break up their shut out and that’s what we were able to do.”
The Bernardians and Bulldogs combined for 18 penalty corners in this one with St. Bernard’s winning the battle 11-7. Despite the advantage, the Bulldogs defense, with strong play from senior captain Lily Sheridan, did a solid job of cutting down on the Bernardians scoring chances.
“I’m happy with the direction, we still need to make a few tweaks here and there but the good news is it’s all fixable,” said Skinner. “Overall, I feel we are playing well as a team.”
The Bernardians also are back on the field Saturday morning when they visit Maynard High.