Hall’s field hockey team hosted Avon Thursday evening in West Hartford.
By Paul Palmer
Coming into her senior season, Hall High field hockey star Ellie Goldstein had a couple of clear goals. Thursday night, she achieved one when she scored the 100th goal of her career to lead the Titans to a 6-1 win over Avon.
“I set that as a goal for myself when I was a freshman,” said the University of Maryland-bound Goldstein. “It is always a team effort, and I was so happy to score it at home so my family could see it.”
She had scored 88 career goals coming into the season and netted her 18th of the year, fifth of the game, and 100th of her school career with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter off a corner. “I had an idea she was close, but she didn’t say anything before the game,” said Hall head coach Jenna Behan. “We counted them up before the game, so I knew about it.”
The game itself was the continuation of a contest that was stopped by lightning last week. Thursday’s game picked up late in the second quarter with Hall up 3-0 behind two scores from Goldstein and one from teammate Clare Sweeney. Neither side scored in the abbreviated play that remained in the first half. Avon had the best opportunity to score early in the third when Lindsey Kunzelmann found herself alone in front of the Hall goal. Goalkeeper Hannah Schoen raced off her line and pressured Kunzelmann, whose shot skipped past the left post.
Hall had the best of play for an overwhelming amount of the second half and Goldstein would get her third of the game at 9:35 of the third. She dribbled the ball from the right sideline into the center of the field and ripped a 20-yard backhander past goalie Morgan Neamtz who had no chance on the shot.
Fifty-Nine seconds later Goldstein collected career goal number 99, and her fourth of the game when she scored off a corner from Ashley Carlson. The Golden Goal came just over 8 minutes later on a forehand blast that slammed off the boards in the back of the net, and Goldstein celebrated with her teammates on the field.
“She’s a leader on this team,” Behan said of her senior.
While Goldstein was taking care of the offense, Schoen and senior defender Molly McHugh anchored a Hall defense that stymied the few chances Avon had for much of the game. “Molly is one player who plays the whole game,” Behan said of her defender. “She is the brains back there.”
With Hall holding the six goal lead, Behan substituted freely and with 5:23 to go Avon managed to spoil the shutout bid with a goal off a scramble in front of the Hall net.
Overall, Behan was pleased with what she saw and what she has seen so far from her senior-heavy team. “I’m loving the passing and connections we are making on the field. We’re at a higher level of play now than we were last year,” said Behan – a former Hall field hockey player.
The win moves Hall to 3-1 on the season, but one of their biggest challenges on the schedule is just around the corner. Saturday, Sept. the 29, the Titans will cross the border to take on Longmeadow – one of the Bay State’s best teams, and one that always plays the Titans tough. The Lancers are coming off a season that saw them lose just once in the regular season, before falling the in quarterfinals of the states.
For Goldstein, facing Longmeadow is another hurdle to clear as looks to lead her teammates to that second goal she has. “We’re trying to get the CCC title, and then make it past the second round of the state tournament for the first time in school history.”
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