CHESHIRE —The Cheshire field hockey team responded to their first defeat of the season with another shutout.
The top-seeded Rams knocked off No. 16 Fairfield-Warde 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon in first-round action of the Class L state tournament at a sunny Alumni Field.
“It’s always nice to come away with a win, but we are still showing some gaping holes,” Cheshire coach Eileen Wildermann said. “It wasn’t our best game. We had lapses and we are heading to the quarterfinals playing a really good team. We can’t have lapses. We just have to come out more mentally prepared.”
Annie Eddy and Meaghan Hogan provided the goals for Cheshire, while goalie Lexie Hemstock and the defense recorded their 18th shutout.
The Rams (19-1) will move on to host No. 8 Amity (13-3-1-0) in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2 p.m. The Spartans knocked off No. 9 Greenwich 2-0 in Woodbridge on Wednesday.
“It will be a great game; it’s always a great game against Amity,” Hogan said. “We take every game differently and we are going to have to play well to win.”
The Rams defeated Amity 3-0 during the regular season on Oct. 14 in Cheshire.
On Wednesday against Warde (8-9-1), Eddy snapped a scoreless tie with 1:52 left in the first half. The Rams earned their third penalty corner of the first half. Olivia Salamone grounded a centering pass to Eddy from 10 yards away and Eddy smashed it by Warde goalie Sophia Guerrera.
“We have all of these corners, but when it’s a high-pressure moment you call on Annie and she will put it the back of the net,” Wildermann said.
Eddy said the Rams brought sustained intensity late in the first half.
“We kept going up and down with intensity, which is not good,” Eddy said. “We started out good and then we didn’t play well and, finally, we stepped up the intensity in last two minutes of the half. We have to stay consistent to keep it going next game.”
Eddy’s goal in the closing minutes of the first half carried momentum over into the second half. Hogan scored on Cheshires first possession, just 46 seconds into the half.
Hogan said it was a back-handed shot.
“It kind of trickled in. It was one of those goals,” she said. “But every goal counts. That goal helped us secure the game and we kept pushing after that.”
“It was a great goal,” Wildermann said. “It was great stick work with a nice little lift that hit off of a girl from Warde. But, in all, we should have put more in. We had many opportunities, but we didn’t finish.”
Hemstock earned her 18th shutout with two saves. Both were made with five minutes left in the game. Elizabeth Falterer unloaded a line drive that Hemstock turned away. The goalie then dove to stone the rebound attempt.
Now it’s the Spartans who stand in the way of Cheshire making the Final Four.
“We are excited to play Amity,” Eddy said. “We already played them, but we have to make sure we pick up our intensity and just really come out more on fire than we did today.”
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