Keely Bowers, Mallory Hudson find the cage for Palmyra’s 1-0 victory over Hershey

Despite Hershey field hockey’s attempt to have extensive coverage on the ball Thursday once inside its defensive circle, Palmyra’s attention to details made all the winning difference.


Extensive – meaning a comprehensive, large amount.


The Cougars don’t often repeat corner plays. For them, it’s like going back in time. They, instead, just keep chipping away at going forward. And, for this season, it always works.


It was Palmyra’s last corner of the game on their home turf that secured them the 1-0 win against the Trojans. The Cougars remain unbeaten on the season at 9-0-1. Hershey falls to 6-2. Both teams play in the Pennsylvania District 3 Mid-Penn Conference.


What went right? Palmyra is known for creating fouls in the circle. They outnumbered Hershey on corners and possessed the ball about 70 percent of the game. Going from quarter-to-quarter, the Cougars increased their bouts of possession holding onto the ball nearly the entire fourth quarter.


Hershey had its near misses – having started off the top of the third and fourth quarters challenging Palmyra’s goalie Abby Bennett. But, they just couldn’t find that finishing touch.


Not even when Hershey packed the circle with up to eight field players could they stop Palmyra’s attack from earning corners. That’s notwithstanding the hockey IQ that both programs’ defenses showed; very few mistakes were made when getting rid of the ball from the backfield.


Palmyra’s experienced midfield with Addie Sholly, Liv Gain, and Hadley Hoffsmith moved the ball to the right as often as possible. Hershey had that type of flow going in the early part of the game led by Anne Gardner and Cara Cronin, but they couldn’t maintain it consistently throughout all 60 minutes.


It wasn’t until late in the fourth with just over three minutes remaining when Palmyra found the only score of the contest.


There was a scramble in front of the cage, where Keely Bowers, who created at least a half dozen corners for the Cougars, assisted Mallory Hudson. Hudson’s goal made it feel like an obvious 1-0 game with the final 3 minutes and 19 seconds an attempted game of keep away for the Cougars.


However, Hershey had a fast breakaway that earned them the final corner of the night with 19 seconds remaining. The Trojans were unable to get around Palmyra’s defense, ultimately losing to the Cougars.


The second meeting will bear more importance when Hershey hosts the Cougars in late October, just before District playoffs begin.


Palmyra 0-0-0-1: 1

Goals: Mallory Hudson, 1

Assists: Keely Bowers, 1

Shots: 4

Corners: 9

Saves: Abby Bennett, 4


Hershey 0-0-0-0: 0

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Shots: 4

Corners: 3

Saves: Kylie Mullen, 2


Photo: Palmyra’s Keely Bowers, Bob Benscoter

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