September 9th, 2018

Valkyries win Mug Game for the first time in three years

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Valkyries win Mug Game for the first time in three years
photo provided by Conor Revell

Experience plays a factor during intense situations and the Mug Game is a big example of that.

Sacred Heart's senior laden field hockey team nudged past Assumption 1-0 Sunday night to reclaim the mug.

"I think the difference between the halves was that Assumption outplayed us in the first half and we were getting beat to the ball," Sacred Heart head coach Eleanor Mitchell said. "In the second half our energy was better and it was more of a team effort."

Mattie Tabor scored the game lone goal with 13:43 to play.

"It was a back free hit," Tabor said. "I hit it. The game was fast moving and I knew I had to take the shot quickly. It was an open shot and we had to take advantage of our opportunities."

The Rockets would have their chances to score the equalizer, but could not find the back of the game.

"I think we played great the whole game," Assumption head coach Jody Schaefer said. "We're very young. We only have five seniors because we have graduated 25 kids the past few years. We're starting all over with a whole new program. The goal was a flukey that went between our goalie legs. I didn't feel that they had possessions the entire game."

Assumption would earn four corners and fired five shots at Valkyrie goalkeeper Taylor Whitlock who made two saves.

"I had to make sure that I was talking to my defense a lot," Whitlock said. "I had to make sure the mids dropped down and that everybody held their mark. It was a great team effort and we spread them out pretty well. "

Sacred Heart was rewarded with nine corners and pettered Rocket goalkeeper Lauren Zanetti with five shots.

Zanetti made three saves.

It was the first time these two teams have played each other this season as the team's didn't meet in the prestigious Apple Tournament.

"Absolutely experienced played a factor," Schaefer said. "It's always going to be a weird game because the rivalry is so deep. Sacred Heart is incredibly talented. Those kids played together in club, all-year round, at Holy Trinity. It's all the same kids since second grade. My sweet little things just met each other in July. They played their little hearts and it could have gone either way."

But, these two powerhouses could meet again in Chicago's Husky Invitational and then again in the state tournament.

Sacred Heart won back the Mug for the first time since 2015.

"Of course it's a relief we got the mug back," Mitchell said. "This game means as much to us as it does to Assumption. It's a great rivalry featuring two great programs. It's a fun game."

 

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