Friday, October 5, 2012

Field hockey: Blue Streaks maintain hold on 'Liners

Warren Hills' field hockey team took another big step toward a second straight Skyland Conference Raritan Division title with an impressive 6-0 victory over rival Phillipsburg Thursday afternoon on the turf at Warren Hills Stadium.

The Blue Streaks (10-1, 8-0 Raritan Division), ranked No. 1 in the Open Mike area, have won four in a row since a 3-1 loss at state power Bridgewater-Raritan on Sept. 22. Coach Laurie Kerr's team also won its 10th straight in the series -- Warren Hills leads 28-11-1 overall -- with the fourth-ranked Stateliners (6-6, 3-5), dating to 2008. P'burg's last win in the series came in the second meeting of the '07 season. Kerr, whose team also beat P'burg, 4-0, on Sept. 13, is now 24-4 all time against the 'Liners in her 13 seasons.

Warren Hills can clinch the division title -- its 11th overall and sixth in the Skyland -- with a win at archrival Voorhees at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday in Lebanon Township. The Vikings (6-2-1, 5-1-1) lost the first meeting, 3-1, in Washington on Sept. 19. The Streaks, whose only other remaining division game is home against Somerville next Thursday, have beaten every team in the division at least once, going 5-0 the first time through the ranks.

Senior forward Niki Miller helped lead the way offensively against P'burg with a goal and an assist -- raising her tri-county area leading points total to 31 with her team-leading 10th goal and 11th assist of the season. Warren Hills sophomore forward Sydney Muntone continued her scoring streak with three goals -- giving her eight on the season -- as she's notched at least one goal or an assist in 10 straight games. Fellow sophomore Nikki Profita also had a goal and an assist for the second time this week.

Defensively, senior goalie Katie Wintersteen, who is having a solid season, recorded her third straight shutout and fifth overall this season.

Warren Hills, the top seed in the Hunterdon-Warren bracket, will next host Lenape Valley on Saturday in the first round of the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex tournament.

Elsewhere in the Skyland Conference on Thursday:

Voorhees 4, Somerville 0 -- Senior Sara Diacik scored two goals and added an assist to power the third-ranked Vikings (6-2-1, 5-1-1) to their fourth win in the last five games. Sophomore Hannah Ryan added a goal and an assist, while goalies Lauren Pianucci and Kathryn Boyce combined for their fifth shutout. Voorhees hosts Kittatinny on Friday at 4 p.m. in a HWS first-round contest.

Ridge 2, Hunterdon Central 1 -- Sophomore forward Kendall Nickel scored the lone goal for No. 2 Central (6-5, 4-4), which has lost two in a row. Senior goalie Fran Orella made three saves. Coach Jenn Sponzo's team defeated Ridge, 4-3, on the road on Sept. 6.

Delaware Valley 0, Montgomery 0 -- In a bit of a stunner, No. 10 Del Val (4-5-1, 2-5-1) played to a draw with last year's North 2, Group 4 runner-up after a 2-0 loss to Montgomery the first time around on Sept. 13. Terriers goalie Jackie Compta made seven saves to preserve the tie.

Parsippany 4, Wallkill Valley 0 -- In an NJAC Freedom Division clash, senior goalie Emily Stukenborg made 10 saves as the Rangers (5-4-1, 5-3) sustained their second straight loss and third in their last four contests. The second loss to unbeaten Parsippany essentially ends No. 8 Wallkill's bid for a second straight division crown.

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