The anticipation for the 2016 field hockey season opener was quite high on Thursday and reasonably so. The Pirates were taking on Patriot rival Delran.
Nothing like putting fuel on the fire early in the season with a divisional game on the first day.
Cinnaminson fell to the Bears 1-0, their third straight shutout loss to Delran. In fact, it was the fifth straight game in the series that ended in a shutout.
It was also the fourth 1-0 game between the two teams since 2014.
“Delran really stepped up a lot in this game. They do every year. It’s always a good game between us,” head coach Gina Quaranta said.
“They never give us a lot of time with the ball. We just needed to find the holes in the defense, move the ball faster and challenge the goalie more. We saw improvement in the second half. It’s just unfortunate we let that first one slip up.”
The Pirates defense played a strong game to start the year, allowing the one goal, and was led by junior Hope Addlesberger.
“We ask for a lot from Hope throughout the game. She’s pretty much playing a midfield position and a defensive position at the same time,” Quaranta said.
“With our knowledge of some Delran returning players, we even asked her to stop their threatening attack in the middle of the field. Every time the ball was in the middle she was attacking the ball or pushing it away from their players.”
Delran scored the lone goal of the game with 9:34 left in the first half off the stick of Alexis Rider.
The second half of the game was dominated by the Pirates, who were able to put quite a bit of pressure on Delran’s defense, but could not convert the scoring chances into goals.
“I like to pinpoint the little things that were done well,” Quaranta said. “Ones that can add onto each other and serve as a building block to a pyramid at the end of the season where we’re at our strongest.”
Delran tried to secure an insurance goal in the second half, but the effort put forth by keeper Lauren Friedrich was incredible.
Friedrich stopped a couple of point-blank shots and kicked away some shots off rebounds to keep her team in the game late.
Friedrich made a total of eight saves in the losing effort.
“She’s (Friedrich) just an amazing player. It gives me chills everytime I think about her and how much she’s learned in the past four years,” Quaranta said.
“She really truly is an outstanding player. She’s a great leader in the back. She shouldn’t be taking those point-blank shots, but she’s saving them. I look for her to do amazing things this season.”
The Pirates open their home slate Monday, September 12 at 3:45pm when Burlington Township comes to town.
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