Bo Manor eliminates Kent in region semifinal

CHESAPEAKE CITY — The Trojans’ field hockey season ended just as it began, with a three-goal loss on the turf at Bohemia Manor High School.

In the Class 1A East Region I tournament semifinal round on Oct. 26, Kent County had the first shot on goal, was the aggressor on attack and received another stellar effort from senior net-minder Jaci Manning.

But KCHS’ season-long weakness, the inability to finish in the circle, was its undoing.

Top-seeded Bo Manor (7-6) scored in the second, third and fourth quarters to eliminate Kent, 3-0.

Gabby Rhoades’ goal in transition with 7 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first half, following another unsuccessful foray by the Trojans deep into Eagles’ territory, held up to be the game-winner.

Laila Wilson tacked on the insurance goal 9:31 into the third quarter, putting back the rebound of a teammate’s shot that initially was saved by Manning, and Rhoades wrapped up the Eagles’ win with her second goal of the night with 9:03 remaining.

The Trojans, whose season started with a 4-1 loss at Bo Manor, finish 0-13.

At full strength they had 11 players, just enough to fill every position.

Because of illness or injury,  Kent played a man down in three of its 12 regular-season games.

“The scorebook doesn’t reflect the positive energy, hard work and sheer determination that these girls put forth throughout the season. Each week they continued to adjust and make improvements,” head coach Susan Wright-Taylor said at the school’s fall sports assembly Nov. 13. 

“As a group, we had moments of reflection and learned to value the importance of our teammates,” said Wright-Taylor, whose eight-year coaching legacy at alma mater KCHS includes a region title in 2019.

In the playoff game at Bo Manor, junior Kate Cannon’s blast off a penalty corner with just 1:41 elapsed was a smidge wide of the cage.

Kent County also failed to score on a goal-mouth scramble with 2:32 remaining in the first frame.

The Addisyn Litton-led defensive unit that included freshman Taylor Strong and sophomore Tess Fuchs foiled a Bo Manor numbers advantage on a penalty corner as time expired, preventing Bo from getting off a shot.

For the most part play in the second quarter was back and forth between the two 25s, until Rhoades beat Manning one-on-one with 7:16 remaining before intermission.

The second half started with bang, bang saves from Manning in the opening 90 seconds.

Kent went on the attack with 7:08 to go in the third quarter when team MVP Carly King carried the ball down the right side and pushed a playbook-perfect cross into the center at the penalty stroke line — sending Bo Manor goalie Sophie Azoulay to her knees in the save posture anticipating a shot on goal — but there was no Kent player in the vicinity to put a stick on the ball.

Just 1:39 later, Wilson’s putback doubled the Eagles’ advantage

Despite trailing 2-0 heading into the final quarter, the Trojans continued to press. Cannon sent another well-struck ball from right to left with just under 10 minutes to play, but the shot was wide and Azoulay was not required to make a save.

At the 9:03 mark, Rhoades salted away the win with a shot that beat Manning for a 3-0 advantage.

The Trojans played down a man for two minutes when Cannon was issued a yellow card for a high stick with 6:15 to go.

After returning, Cannon appeared to have scored with 3:01 to play off a penalty corner insert from King, but officials ruled that Cannon’s sizzler of a shot — that rung off the back of the cage — was taken from outside the circle and therefore was not a goal.

This was the final game for co-captain Drew Davis, King, Litton and Manning, who were freshmen in the COVID-abbreviated 2020 season and are among the handful of players who remain from the Trojans’ 2021 region finalist team.

“It’s never easy to lose,” Wright-Taylor said at the fall sports assembly earlier this month, “but through sports we learn how to handle challenges, pick up the pieces and move forward.”

Wright-Taylor said sports “help us to appreciate others and respect ourselves.”

Sports teaches us to appreciate the game, the good and the bad, “and shows us that if we push a little harder, we can achieve anything.”

Wright-Taylor concluded by saying that it had been a “pleasure to witness these young women connect and develop relationships through field hockey.”

Trish McGee, the owner and publisher of The Evening Enterprise, is a longtime coach with the KCHS field hockey program. For the last eight years she has been a volunteer assistant.

NOTES: In voting by the North Bayside Conference coaches, Manning, who had a 71% save percentage, was named to the second team and King received honorable mention.

Southern of Anne Arundel defeated Bo Manor, 4-0, in the region final on Oct. 31.





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