Raiders use teamwork, closeness to top Middletown

Raiders use teamwork, closeness to top Middletown

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Raiders use teamwork, closeness to top Middletown

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Middletown's Kathryn McMenamin falls to the turf after tangling with a Concord player in the second half of Concord's 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown’s Kathryn McMenamin falls to the turf after tangling with a Concord player in the second half of Concord’s 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown goalie Lauren Berry clears the ball away from Concord's Katie Raab (right) in the second half of Concord's 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown goalie Lauren Berry clears the ball away from Concord’s Katie Raab (right) in the second half of Concord’s 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown's Camarin Cook (left) can't stop Concord's Eryn Bailey from finishing a goal - the only score - in the second half of Concord's 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown’s Camarin Cook (left) can’t stop Concord’s Eryn Bailey from finishing a goal – the only score – in the second half of Concord’s 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown goalie Lauren Berry (left) and teammate Hannah Harmon (18) follow the flight of the ball with Concord's Arnise King in the second half of Concord's 1-0 win Wednesday.

Middletown goalie Lauren Berry (left) and teammate Hannah Harmon (18) follow the flight of the ball with Concord’s Arnise King in the second half of Concord’s 1-0 win Wednesday.

BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – If the first two games are any indication, the team dinners the Concord field hockey team dinners have run a little later than usual.

Eryn Bailey’s goal with just over 17 minutes to go in the second half proved to be all the Raiders would need as they moved to 2-0 on the young season by knocking off defending Flight A champ Middletown 1-0 in a heated conference battle Wednesday afternoon.

“I think when you see the work you’re putting in during a hot preseason and that it’s paying it off, it undoubtedly gives our team momentum,” Raiders head coach Sandy Wermus explained. “We have full support from the bench and even the JV cheering us on. We’re a big team and a together team.”

“We hang out together off the field and we have so much fun at our team dinners, we stay late,” said Bailey, who scratched a shot past Cavaliers goalie Lauren Berry for the game’s only goal. “This year, our team bond is stronger than it’s ever been.”

The Raiders would need that goal as the Cavaliers (0-2 overall, 0-1 Flight A) registered three shots and four penalty corners in the first half and kept the pressure on the Raider defense.

The second half was a different story as Middletown could only manage one shot and one corner, while Concord had eight shots and five corners.

“We just started communicating more,” junior defender Sara Raab said. “We tried to do things ourselves in the first half, but we’re so much better when we’re a cohesive team.”

That was never than more evident on the winning goal as senior Caroline Procak fired a shot on goal that redirected off of fellow senior Arnise King right to Bailey, who was in the right place at the right time.

“I have trust in my front line and I knew they were going to be able to knock the ball in,” Procak said.

“Our motto is ‘Shake it off and step it up,’ and that’s what we tried to do in the second half,” King said. “We just wanted to get a goal.”

Get a goal they did and now the Raiders have a game up on the defending champs early in the season and believe that the momentum can help them go a long way.

“We’re all friends, so trust isn’t an issue for us,” Procak says. “We know how to keep that team spirit alive in tough moments.”

“We came into these games wanting to win because they were really big games for us,” Bailey added. “We think we can go really far.”

Berry stopped six shots for Middletown in the loss.

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