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FREDERICKSBURG >> From the start of practice in mid-August to Tuesday's game at Northern Lebanon, the Elco field hockey team had put in almost a month's worth of work without seeing a true positive result from all of their efforts.

The wait is over. Boy, is it over.

The Raiders emphatically broke into the win column on Tuesday afternoon, riding a record-tying performance from sophomore forward Katie Fields to a dominating 6-2 victory over Northern Lebanon on the Vikings' home turf.

Fields exploded for four goals, three in the first half, as Elco jumped ahead for good 3:35 into the contest on an Alyssa Keath score and never looked back on the way to improving to 1-2-1 overall and 1-1 in Section Three.

Northern Lebanon, which counted two Carey Hetrick goals as consolation, fell to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in Section Three.

"It's great. The girls feel really good, I feel really good," said a pleased Elco coach Lisa Kercher. "The win, everyone is excited for, because that was our first one. We had a rough start. And (Monday) night we had a tough game with Milton Hershey — we ended in a 0-0 tie. After playing extra time last night and then coming out today and giving their all and getting the win was pretty good."

"It kinda shows that hard work does pay off," said Fields, who tied Nikki Gerhart's 15-year old record with her four-goal outburst. "We do not like practicing a lot, but now that we have the result it feels good that we put in all the time."

Fields' fingerprints were all over the Raiders' initial win of 2015, and most of the imprints were made in the first half, when the super sophomore tallied a hat trick.

Her first shot that hit the back of the cage came with 17:59 left in the first half, when she jumped on the rebound of an Abbie Keath shot and slammed it home for a 2-0 lead.

Fields added an unassisted tally a mere 57 seconds later, then polished off her big opening half with her third score with 52 ticks on the first half clock.

The onslaught was something Northern Lebanon, which posted its first win on Monday against Pequea Valley, was both unprepared for and unable to stop.

"I think we were caught on our heels at the beginning of the game," said Northern Lebanon coach Michelle Krall. "There is a much better game that we can play, we just didn't show up today. They were stepping in front of the ball, and pressuring us as soon as we had the ball. Those are two things we weren't doing and that made it a completely different ballgame for us."

Fields made it her ballgame and Elco's as a whole with aggressive play in the circle, the pinnacle of which came when she notched the record-tying fourth goal off a feed from Emily Witmer with 21:00 left.

"That's pretty cool. It's exciting," Kercher said of Fields' performance. "We tried to keep it a little hush-hush at the beginning, but I think she knew in the back of her mind. That's a really cool thing for her individually, and of course she's part of our team so it's a team thing for us, too."

"I'm pretty excited, yeah," Fields said with a smile. "It just kinda happened. I never thought it would happen, actually."

And after waiting so long to taste victory, the Raiders, who got their final goal from Abbie Keath with 6:53 to go, were no doubt wondering if it would ever come. Now that it finally has, their outlook is much sunnier.

"Absolutely," Kercher said, when asked if the Raiders can build off of Tuesday's impressive win. "There's definitely something promising things there. This was a good game to get it rolling."

Elco 6, Northern Lebanon 2

Elco42—6Northern Lebanon11—2

First half — E: Alyssa Keath, Katie Fields 3, NL: Carey Hetrick

Second half — E: Fields, Abbie Keath, NL: Hetrick

Assists — E: Abbie Keath, Emily Witmer 2, Hannah Williams, NL: Kaley Donmoyer 2

Shots on goal — Elco 15, Northern Lebanon 7

Corners — Elco 5, Northern Lebanon 2

Saves — E: Kendra Bicksler (4 saves), Mallory Beard (defensive save) NL: Hannah Whitman (8 saves), Emma Kelliher (defensive save)

JV score — Elco 0, Northern Lebanon 0

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