Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Field hockey: Vikes stun rival Blue Streaks in OT

WASHINGTON TWP. -- What would the 59th meeting between rivals Voorhees and Warren Hills be without another overtime classic? You almost come to expect it.

Senior midfielder Hannah Schiavo picked the right time for the first game-winning goal of her high school career, a nifty dodge-and-go with 4:46 left to give Voorhees a thrilling 1-0 win on Tuesday night in a Skyland Conference Raritan Division clash at Warren Hills School District Stadium.

For the second straight year, Voorhees (7-2, 7-1 division), ranked No. 2 in the area by Open Mike, knocked off No. 1 Warren Hills on its home field. The Vikings scored a 2-1 win early last season before the Blue Streaks, the two-time defending Group 3 state champions, turned the tables with a 2-1 win on strokes in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament semifinals.

"It's good to get that first win and against a big team like this is great for us," said sixth-year coach Taylor Webb, now 5-7 overall vs. Warren Hills. "We've had a competitive schedule so far [with losses against state powers West Essex and Bridgewater-Raritan]. We worked on a lot of things based on those two losses [both on grass]. This was on turf."

Warren Hills (7-1, 6-1) came into game having reeled off six straight shutout wins and had yielded just one goal in its first seven games -- a 2-1 win over Hunterdon Central on Sept. 10. The Streaks, now 21-32-6 overall in the series dating to 1975, were without star forward Dani Profita, whose senior season ended abruptly with an ACL injury sustained in a 6-0 win over Phillipsburg on Thursday.

Voorhees, now alone in first place in the division, was well aware of Profita's injury, but Schiavo said it didn't alter the game plan.

"I feel so bad [for Profita], it's the worst thing that can happen," said Schiavo, who plays club hockey with several of the Warren Hills players. "We didn't really think about her not being there. They're still a really strong team, so you don't think about it. These games are so intense. It steps up everyone's game."

Voorhees certainly stepped it up in the seven-aside overtime period. Schiavo and her teammates took control right away, creating two penalty corner opportunities in the first two minutes. Schiavo got off a shot on the first one, while outstanding Warren Hills goalie Jackie de Raismes made a great play by coming up to the top of the circle to deny another surge.

After that save, Warren Hills came right down the field as junior Tali Popinko got loose on a breakaway down the left sideline. But the momentum was fleeting as Voorhees stopped the drive and proceeded to bring it back up the field.

Inside the circle, Schiavo collected the ball and made a great dodge to her right to get around de Raismes, tucking the ball into the right corner of the cage to set off a wild celebration.

"I got a really good pass from [senior midfielder] Danika [Berman] and I knew [de Raismes] was going to come out and the defense wasn't back there," Schiavo said of her first goal in this rivalry and her fourth of the season. "I anticipated and it worked."

As a midfielder, Schiavo hasn't had as many opportunities to score, especially with Kathryn Roncoroni, the school's all-time leading scorer who is now at American University, doing major damage on the forward line the previous four years. But Webb made a move that smart coaches tend to make -- putting her best player in position to impact the game by moving her up in the seven-on-seven.

"We want her up by the goal and possessing the ball," Webb said. "She's a strong, confident and experienced player. She wanted that goal."

A defensive struggle for the most part, Voorhees finished with 3-0 edge in shots in OT and 5-2 for the game, which was the third in the last seven meeting to go overtime. Vikes goalie Annie Weiler made two key saves, including a rifle shot by Mikayla Dugan off the pads on a corner in the first half.

"We had a lot more scoring opportunities, and we haven't been scoring as many goals as we need to," Webb said. "Our seven dominated in overtime. We had really clean skills in the open field. Our corner defense was very strong today.

The teams will get a rematch at Voorhees on Thursday, Oct. 20. As the top two seeds in the HWS Tournament, they could very well meet a third time in the championship game two days later at Hackettstown High School. No. 1 seed Warren Hills has won the last three tri-county titles, including a 5-0 win over Voorhees in 2014.

"It's always good to get the first one over with," Schiavo said. "The second one will be like a new start. You have to take it like you didn't win at all."

Voorhees (7-2, 7-1)                        0                0              1    --    1
Warren Hills (7-1, 6-1)                   0                0              0     --    0

Scoring

Overtime -- V, Hannah Schiavo, 4th, 4:46.

Shots -- Voorhees 5; Warren Hills 2.

Saves -- Annie Weiler 2 (V); Jackie de Raismes 4 (WH).

Penalty corners -- Voorhees 6; Warren Hills 5.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Field hockey: No. 1 vs. 2 highlights HWS rankings

With the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament underway, the season is starting to heat up. And it will get a lot hotter on Tuesday night when No. 1 Warren Hills hosts No. 2 Voorhees at 6 p.m., in the one of the best rivalry games in the state and a key Skyland Conference Raritan Division matchup.

Warren Hills (7-0), which has won six of the last nine in the series, including a 2-1 victory on strokes in the HWS semifinals last year, will enter the 59th meeting at less than full strength. Outstanding senior forward Dani Profita will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, while junior defender Sydney Moskal also missed Saturday's 2-0 win over Ridge with an injury.

Voorhees (6-2), which owns a 31-21-6 edge in a series dating to 1975, is coming off a tough 2-0 loss to perennial Group 4 finalist Bridgewater-Raritan at home on Saturday. A pair of freshman forwards -- Brooke Hyland (six goals) and Cassie Boyce (four goals) -- have helped pick up the offense, which was a question coming into the season with the loss of Kathryn Roncoroni, the school's most prolific scorer.  The Vikes stunned the Streaks, 2-1, in Washington last year in a regular-season clash before dropping the rematch in the HWS semis. Four of the last six meetings were decided by one goal.

Great to see the teams back in the same division this season, guaranteeing at least two meetings this season and a very strong chance for a third in the HWS final, with Warren Hills the top seed and Voorhees the No. 2.

Here is the first set of our area rankings:

1. Warren Hills (7-0) -- Blue Streaks have stormed out of the gate in pursuit of a third straight Group 3 state championship. Profita entered the week as the area's leading scorer with 14 goals, and the rest of the offense must step up to make another title run. The defense, anchored by senior goalie Jackie de Raismes, has produced five straight shutouts, including a 6-0 win over No. 10 Phillipsburg on Thursday.

Up next: Voorhees at home on Tuesday; at Bridgewater-Raritan on Thursday; Montgomery at home on Saturday.

2. Voorhees (6-2) -- Vikings went 2-1 last week, including a 2-0 win over Ridge, which also dropped a 2-0 decision to Warren Hills on Saturday. Senior midfielder Hannah Schiavo scored in back-to-back wins over Ridge and Montgomery (3-1 on Thursday). Vikes' two losses are to state powers West Essex (3-0 on Sept. 10) and Bridgewater-Raritan (2-0 on Saturday).

Up next: at Warren Hills on Tuesday; at Pingry on Thursday; at North Hunterdon on Saturday.

3. Hunterdon Central (5-2) -- Red Devils, who drew the No. 3 seed for the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament, have won four in a row. They went 2-0 last week with wins over Montgomery (5-0 on Tuesday) and Hillsborough (6-0 on Thursday). Junior forward Brittany Bill scored four goals in those wins, while senior midfielder Nikki Freeman had a two-goal game against Hillsborough. Senior forward Liza Higley has scored in four straight games. Central looks to snap an eight-game skid against nemesis Bridgewater on Tuesday.

Up next: at Bridgewater-Raritan on Tuesday; Watchung Hills at home on Thursday.

4. Newton (6-0) -- Braves drew the No. 8 seed in the HWS Tournament due to a low power-point total and having only four of the maximum six games played before the cutoff. Senior forwards Natalie Rivas (nine goals, seven assists) and Kate Barbato (four goals) are off to strong starts, while junior forward Morgan Mendel (four goals) has helped balance the offense. The defense has yielded only two goals through six games.

Up next: Wallkill Valley at home on Monday; at High Point on Wednesday; Wallkill Valley at home on Saturday in HWS Tournament.

5. Delaware Valley (5-1-1) -- Terriers are off to fast start with their highest ranking in our poll since its inception in 2009. They enter the week off a 1-1 tie with Bernards, which snapped a five-game winning streak. Senior forward Riley Ferrara has led a balanced offensive attack with four goals and five assists, while senior midfielder Ann Bill (four goals, four assists) and junior forward Sarah Babcock (three goals, four assists) have chipped in. Light week with only No. 8 Belvidere on tap.

Up next: Belvidere at home on Tuesday.

6. Belvidere (5-0-1) -- County Seaters, who drew the No. 6 seed in the HWS Tournament, won their first four games before a 2-2 tie with Bernards on Tuesday. They bounce back with a 4-0 win at North Plainfield as sophomore Abby Bronico, who leads the team with five goals, notched her second assist. Sophomore forward Angie Santini has chipped in three goals, while sophomore goalie Anya Logan has anchored the defense with four shutouts.

Up next: at Delaware Valley on Tuesday; Hackettstown at home on Friday; Phillipsburg at home on Saturday in HWS Tournament.

7. Hackettstown (5-2) -- Tigers have won three in a row, including a 2-1 win over No. 7 High Point on Wednesday in an important NJAC Freedom Division clash. They closed the week with a 4-1 win over Kittatinny in the preliminary round of the HWS Tournament. With opponents keeping an eye on senior midfielder Molly Gorczyca (three goals), sophomore forward Jordan Vandermark (six goals) and sophomore forward Kayla Cichlar (six goals) have boosted the offense.

Up next: at Lenape Valley on Monday; Kittatinny at home on Wednesday; South Hunterdon at home in HWS Tournament.

8. High Point (4-2-1) -- Wildcats, who went 7-12 a year ago, have relied on defense through the first seven games and some timely offense. Credit veteran coach Bev Keur for going out and getting No. 3 Hunterdon Central on the schedule -- a 3-1 road loss on Sept. 17. Senior forward Kelsey Little leads the offense with three goals after scoring a total of five in 2015. Little had the lone goal in a 2-1 loss to No. 6 Hackettstown on Wednesday. Big week with No. 5 Newton at home on Wednesday.

Up next: at Vernon on Monday night; Newton at home on Wednesday; Sparta at home on Saturday in HWS Tournament.

9. Wallkill Valley (4-3) -- Rangers have had a bit of an up-and-down season, with losses to No. 5 Delaware Valley (3-2 on Sept. 10), No. 8 High Point (1-0 on Sept. 15) and No. 7 Hackettstown (2-0 on Thursday). Junior forward Morgan Carr leads the offense with 12 goals, while the return of senior forward Danielle Seabeck (four assists), who missed all of 2015 with an ACL injury, has helped bolster the unit.

Up next: at Newton on Monday; at Vernon on Wednesday; at Newton on Saturday in HWS Tournament.

10. Phillipsburg (2-4-1) -- Stateliners are coming off a 1-1 week, dropping a 6-0 decision to No. 1 Warren Hills on Thursday before rebounding with a 3-0 win over Pope John in the preliminary round of the HWS Tournament. Forward Julia Dalrymple scored two goals and sophomore midfielder Gabby Dudek added a goal and an assist in the win over the Lions.

Up next: at North Hunterdon on Tuesday; at Ridge on Friday; at Belvidere on Saturday in HWS Tournament.

On the bubble: South Hunterdon (4-3); Sparta (3-4).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Field hockey: HWS schedule for Sept. 26-Oct. 1

Monday, Sept. 26


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

North Warren at Kittatinny
Hackettstown at Lenape Valley
Wallkill Valley at Newton
High Point at Vernon, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 27


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Roxbury at Pope John

Skyland Conference

Belvidere at Delaware Valley
Hunterdon Central at Bridgewater-Raritan, 3:45 p.m.
South Hunterdon at Franklin, 6 p.m.
Phillipsburg at North Hunterdon, 5:15 p.m.
Voorhees at Warren Hills, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 28


(All games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Newton at High Point
Kittatinny at Hackettstown
North Warren at Lenape Valley
Wallkill Valley at Vernon

Thursday, Sept. 29


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at Montville
Sparta at Morristown

Skyland Conference

Voorhees at Pingry, 3:45 p.m.
Warren Hills at Bridgewater-Raritan, 3:45 p.m.
Watchung Hills at Hunterdon Central, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Roxbury at Kittatinny
West Morris at Lenape Valley
North Warren at Blair Academy, 4:15 p.m.
Vernon at St. Elizabeth

Skyland Conference

Phillipsburg at Ridge, 3:45 p.m.

Independent

Hackettstown at Belvidere, 3:45 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 1


(All first-round games 4 p.m.)

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament

Wallkill Valley at Newton
Sparta at High Point
Phillipsburg at Belvidere
South Hunterdon at Hackettstown

Skyland Conference

Montgomery at Warren Hills, 1 p.m.
Voorhees at North Hunterdon, 2 p.m.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Field hockey: HWS scoring leaders

   (Through Thursday's games)

   Minimum 5 points


Player
School
Goals
Assists
Points
Dani Profita
Warren Hills
14
6
34
Morgan Carr
Wallkill Valley
11
3
25
Natalie Rivas
Newton
9
7
25
Brittany Bill
Hunterdon Central
5
9
19
Nikki Freeman
Hunterdon Central
7
0
14
Riley Ferrara
Delaware Valley
4
5
13
Carly Leary
South Hunterdon
5
3
13
Ann Bill
Delaware Valley
4
4
12
Abby Bronico
Belvidere
5
2
12
Brooke Hyland
Voorhees
6
0
12
Tali Popinko
Warren Hills
3
5
11
Rebecca Sigman
Warren Hills
4
3
11
Sarah Babcock
Delaware Valley
3
4
10
Morgan Mendel
Newton
4
2
10
Cassie Boyce
Voorhees
4
2
10
Kate Barbato
Newton
4
2
10
Nicole Rizzo
Newton
2
6
10
Kayla Cichar
Hackettstown
5
0
10
Fiona Blake
Wallkill Valley
4
1
9
Jeanne Harabedian
Delaware Valley
4
1
9
Ali Sturchio
Pope John
4
1
9
Jordan Vandermark
Hackettstown
4
1
9
Liza Higley
Hunterdon Central
4
1
9
Victoria Docherty
Newton
3
3
9
Jacqui Hallack
Sparta
3
2
8
Colleen Barrett
Hunterdon Central
3
2
8
Samantha Dugan
Warren Hills
4
0
8
Alyssa Appleby
Warren Hills
4
0
8
Gabby Dudek
Phillipsburg
3
1
7
Brittany Schumann
Newton
2
3
7
Megan Donnelly
Delaware Valley
3
1
7
Angie Santini
Belvidere
3
1
7
Molly Gorczyca
Hackettstown
3
0
6
Kelsey Little
High Point
3
0
6
Emily Brandt
Hunterdon Central
3
0
6
Hope Nafis
Sparta
2
2
6
Hannah Schiavo
Voorhees
3
0
6
Jessalyn McKenna
Lenape Valley
3
0
6
Kali Huck
Hunterdon Central
2
2
6
Madison Hoskins
Hackettstown
2
1
5
Abby Evans
Phillipsburg
2
1
5
Lindsay Fritz
Voorhees
2
1
5
Danielle Seabeck
Wallkill Valley
1
3
5
Mikayla Dugan
Warren Hills
1
3
5
Sarah Matyas
Voorhees
2
1
5

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Field hockey: HWS Tournament seeds, pairings

The eighth annual Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex tournament gets under way on Saturday with six preliminary round games.

Here's is this year's complete schedule:

Prelims on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the higher seeds, with the winners advancing to the four pre-quarterfinal round contests on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the higher seeds. The quarterfinals are slated for Saturday, Oct. 8 at the higher seeds with the semifinals to be played on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The championship game will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 on the turf at Hackettstown's Morrison Field. Warren Hills posted a 2-1 win over Hunterdon Central in last year's title game, the Warren County school's fifth HWS championship and third in a row.

For the second straight year, all teams were seeded strictly on power points and housed in one 18-team bracket. Power points through a team's first six games, or if fewer than six, played up to and including Wednesday's cutoff were used in seeding process.

The top four seeds receive byes into the quarterfinals.

Preliminary matchups for Saturday

17-North Hunterdon (0-5) at 8-Newton (4-0)

16-Vernon (1-3) at 9-Wallkill Valley (3-2)

13-Lenape Valley (1-1-1) at 12-Sparta (2-3)

14-Pope John (1-6) at 11-Phillipsburg (1-3-1)

15-North Warren (1-4) at 10-South Hunterdon (2-3)

18-Kittatinny (0-3) at 7-Hackettstown (3-2)

First-round matchups for Oct. 1

North Hunterdon-Newton winner vs. Vernon-Wallkill Valley winner

Lenape Valley-Sparta winner at 5-High Point (3-2-1)

Pope John-Phillipsburg winner at 6-Belvidere (4-0-1)

North Warren-South Hunterdon winner vs. Kittatinny-Hackettstown winner

Quarterfinal matchups for Oct. 8

North Hunterdon/Newton/Vernon/Wallkill Valley at 1-Warren Hills (5-0)

Lenape Valley/Sparta/High Point at 4-Delaware Valley (5-1)

Pope John/Phillipsburg/Belvidere at 3-Hunterdon Central (4-2)

North Warren/South Hunterdon/Kittatinny/Hackettstown at 2-Voorhees (5-1)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Field hockey: HWS schedule for Sept. 19-24

Monday, Sept. 19


(All games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Jefferson at High Point
Mendham at Pope John
Vernon at Boonton

Tuesday, Sept. 20


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Newton
Lenape Valley at Vernon
North Warren at Wallkill Valley

Skyland Conference

Delaware Valley at North Plainfield, 3:45 p.m.
Montgomery at Hunterdon Central, 7 p.m.
Somerville at South Hunterdon, 3:45 p.m.
Voorhees at Ridge, 6 p.m.
Warren Hills at Hillsborough
Bernards at Belvidere
North Hunterdon at Pingry

Wednesday, Sept. 21


(Both games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at Mount Olive
Hackettstown at High Point

Thursday, Sept. 22


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Kittatinny
Lenape Valley at Newton
Vernon at North Warren
Hackettstown at Wallkill Valley

Skyland Conference

Bernards at Delaware Valley
Hillsborough at Hunterdon Central, 6 p.m.
Warren Hills at Phillipsburg, 3:45 p.m.
South Hunterdon at Mount St. Mary, 3:45 p.m.
Voorhees at Montgomery, 3:45 p.m.
Belvidere at North Plainfield, 3:45 p.m.
North Hunterdon at Watchung Hills, 3:45 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23


(Both games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at Whippany Park
Sparta at Jefferson

Saturday, Sept. 24


(All tournament games 10 a.m.)

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament

North Hunterdon at Newton
Vernon at Wallkill Valley
Lenape Valley at Sparta
Pope John at Phillipsburg
North Warren at South Hunterdon
Kittatinny at Hackettstown

Skyland Conference

Bridgewater-Raritan at Voorhees, 10 a.m.
Ridge at Warren Hills, 11 a.m.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Field hockey: HWS schedule for Sept. 12-17

Monday, Sept. 12


(All games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Jefferson at Wallkill Valley

Independent

Pingry at High Point
West Windsor South at Delaware Valley
Princeton Day at South Hunterdon

Tuesday, Sept. 13


(All games 4 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Morris Hills at Pope John
Sparta at Mount Olive

Skyland Conference

Mount St. Mary at Delaware Valley
Ridge at Hunterdon Central
Belvidere at Franklin
Voorhees at Phillipsburg, 3:45 p.m.
South Hunterdon at Bernards, 3:45 p.m.
Watchung Hills at Warren Hills, 3:45 p.m.
Montgomery at North Hunterdon, 3:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 14


(All games 4 p.m.)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Lenape Valley
Newton at Vernon
North Warren at Hackettstown

Independent

Warren Hills at Madison, ppd.

Thursday, Sept. 15


(All games 3:45 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Jefferson at Pope John, 4 p.m.
Wallkill Valley at High Point
Sparta at Morris Hills, 7 p.m.

Skyland Conference

Hunterdon Central at Phillipsburg
South Hunterdon at North Plainfield
Hillsborough at Voorhees
Mount St. Mary at Belvidere
Bridgewater-Raritan at North Hunterdon, 5:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16


(All games 3:45 p.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Pequannock, 4 p.m.

Skyland Conference

Delaware Valley at Franklin

Independent

Belvidere at North Warren

Saturday, Sept. 17


(All games 10 a.m., unless noted)

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at West Morris
Sparta at Morris Knolls

Independent

High Point at Hunterdon Central, noon
Lenape Valley at Montclair
Vernon at Mount St. Mary
North Warren at Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.), 11 a.m.
Hackettstown at Warren Hills, 4 p.m.

Skyland Conference

Montgomery at Phillipsburg, 11:30 a.m.
Voorhees at Watchung Hills