Sacred Heart wins Apple field hockey 10th straight time

Sacred Heart wins Apple field hockey 10th straight time

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Sacred Heart wins Apple field hockey 10th straight time

It’s been a decade of dominance for the Sacred Heart field hockey team in the Apple Tournament.

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It’s been a decade of dominance for the Sacred Heart field hockey team in the Apple Tournament.


Assumption High School senior Hannah Lane, left, and senior Bailey Higgins defend the Rocket goal from Sacred Heart Academy junior Caroline Brotzge duringÊthe ÒRedÓ Division A final between Assumption and Sacred Heart in the 5th Annual Apple Jam Youth Field Hockey Tournament at Sacred Heart AcademyÕs Horton Field. Sacred Heart Academy won 3-2 over Assumption High School. August 23, 2014

It’s been a decade of dominance for the Sacred Heart field hockey team in the Apple Tournament.

The Valkyries captured their 10th consecutive title in the traditional season-opening tourney with a 3-2 triumph over arch­rival Assumption in the Red Division A final on a sweltering Saturday morning at their Horton Field. Sacred Heart picked up the Apple trophy every year from 2004-12, but there was no varsity tournament in 2013.

“With the tournament coming back this year we wanted to win it,” said senior goalie Kate Venezia, who was named the tourney’s MVP.

Thanks to her defense and junior Katie Esselman’s two goals, including the game-winner with 7:30 to play, Sacred Heart was able to keep its streak alive.

“This means the world to us, especially coming against the team that beat us in the state championship,” Esselman said.

The Rockets, who edged the Valkyries 1-0 in last year’s state final, looked like world-beaters heading into the Apple final, outscoring their first four tournament foes 19-1. Sacred Heart, meanwhile, had to rally from a 2-0 deficit late in the second half of its eventual 3-2 overtime triumph over Kentucky Country Day in Thursday’s semifinals.

In Saturday’s final, postponed from Friday night because of strong storms and lightning, it was Assumption that struck first. Sophomore Biz Allgeier scored off a pass from Mary Ann Crawford, who had received a feed from Hannah Lane, with 19:40 left in the first half.

The Valkyries tied it 10 minutes later when Esselman knocked home a loose ball in front of the goal.

“It was sort of a nitty, gritty, fight-to-the-death kind ofgoal,” she said.

It remained tied until early in the second half, when Sacred Heart junior Caroline Brotzge converted a shot on a nifty crossover move from the top of the striking circle. It came off the Valkyries’ only corner of the match.

“We knew with their defense, and particularly with their offense, they’re not going to give you many chances,” Sacred Heart coach Liz Lewis said. “We had to capitalize on our opportunities because we knew they were going to be few and far between.”

The Rockets got the equalizer six minutes later when Allgeier knocked a rebound out of midair and into the goal with 13:02 to play.

That set the stage for Esselman game-winning goal.

“It was kind of a lunge and I hoped it would go in,” she said of the shot in front of Assumption’s goal.

The Valkyries, Venezia in particular, held off several Assumption shots in the final minutes. At one point the Rockets had four corners in less than a minute.

“We had opportunities that we missed,” said Assumption coach Debbie Judd, whose team had 11 corners. “Of course we wanted to win the Apple, but for us it’s a way to figure out what we need to improve on the rest of theseason.”

Eastern beat Male 3-2 on Caroline Patrick’s goal in sudden-victory overtime in the Green Division B final.

RED DIVISION

Final

Sacred Heart 3 (Katie Esselman 2, Caroline Brotzge), Assumption 2 (Biz Allgeier 2).

All-tournament team – Susie Williams (Mercy); Katherine Grossman (Collegiate); Jaqueline Wilkins (Christian Academy); Abby Durbin (Manual); Katy Law and Merit Harris (Ballard); Sara Kate Smith and Beverly King (Kentucky Country Day); Mary Ann Crawford, Kennedy Frantz and Bailey Higgins (Assumption); Maddie Wise, Katie Esselman, Ally Brumfield and Kate Venezia (Sacred Heart). Wendy Martin Most Valuable Player – Venezia.

GREEN DIVISION

Final

Eastern 3 (Harper Zeitz, Shayna Peyton, Caroline Patrick), Male 2 (Emma Edgar 2).

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