UNION- The last few years have been lean ones for the Boyertown field hockey team and this season started out with several close losses to strong teams that could have been discouraging.
But the Bears have maintained a good attitude and continued to work hard, and that has started to pay off on the scoreboard this week as they won their second contest in two days on Tuesday night, 4-2 over Daniel Boone at Brazinsky Field.
Haley Wentzel controlled the offense for Boyertown (2-5) that kept the ball in the Blazers' end during much of the non-league match and produced goals by Erin Akins, Andrea Wysocki, Rebekah Jones, and Emma Morgan. Steph Sievers scored twice for the young Blazers (2-5), who continue to improve with a lineup filled with freshmen.
"They've just come so far from day one of pre-season,' Boyertown first-year head coach Dulcie Rothermel said concerning her players. "Our goal is just to improve every day ' practice day or game day. They have the right attitude and the right work ethic.'
"I think we're all just starting to figure out our jobs on the field and putting the pieces together,' said Wentzel. "It's awesome.'
Boyertown never trailed ' though Boone did come back to tie twice ' after Akins scored off a pass from Amanda Kane 14:30 into the match. Sievers tied it on a penalty stroke just 21 seconds later. But Wysocki put the visitors back on top with an unassisted tally only 43 seconds after that and the Bears held a 2-1 advantage at the half.
Then Sievers knotted the score again 4:42 after the halftime break. But Jones gave the Bears the lead again less than three minutes later with an unassisted goal and Wysocki passed to Morgan at the right post for an insurance score with 16:12 remaining. Boyertown controlled the ball most of the remaining time to wrap up the win.
Rothermel credited Wentzel for the amount that the Bears controlled the ball.
"We made some changes as far as her movement down the field,' Rothermel said. "And she was able to apply the adjustments and that made a huge change in our ability to get the ball down in the other end.'
"Today I was personally working on carrying it down the field and cutting to the middle,' Wentzel added. "We all have our little jobs and we were focusing on them today. We had it on attack almost the whole game, which we weren't used to in previous years.'
Daniel Boone coach Ashley Renshaw thought that the Bears' speed was a big factor in the outcome.
"They were very, very fast, and we haven't seen anybody who's that fast,' she said. "They passed really well and they were quick.'
The Blazers did put on a push near the end as they earned three penalty corners within a minute. But the Bears' defense and goalkeeper Angela DiGuiseppe (eight saves) held on and Boyertown once again pushed the ball down to the Blazers end in the final minute.
The Bears had won their first game of the season on Monday afternoon, 2-1, over Pope John Paul II in overtime, and the excitement and momentum carried into Tuesday.
"It's always good to get that notch,' said Rothermel. "The girls were really excited about that. I'm just proud of their work ethic and staying with it. They're a great group of girls and they deserved it.'
"We had a lot of momentum to keep winning,' added Wentzel.
Renshaw, who got four saves from keeper Savanna Lacek, is also happy with the progress being made by her squad.
"I think we took advantage of opportunities we had,' she said. "Not to the fullest extent, but that's something we haven't done well recently.
"They're improving every day. We're very, very young. Half of the players on the field are freshmen. They've come a long way. They're doing very well. I'm excited.'