Brookline shuts out Tigers 1-0 Thursday

The Newtonite

by Kristian Lundberg
Field hockey’s most brilliant offensive play against Brookline was one that did not count.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, all of their missed opportunities did.
The Tigers created the vast majority of scoring chances but could not convert on any of the ones that mattered, succumbing to a frustrating 1-0 defeat at home to the Warriors Thursday. Adding insult to injury, the Tigers thought they had tied the game with only a few minutes left, but the referees disallowed their goal, sending the squad to its second loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Brookline, whose offense failed to materialize over the first 45 minutes, scored its only goal on a breakaway with 12:30 left in the second half, taking advantage of the Tigers’ offensive pressure to launch a rare counterattack.
“We took tons of shots, and we only faced three or four from Brookline,” coach Celeste Myers said. “We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
Trailing 1-0 with five minutes left in the game, the Tigers quickly took a corner, hoping to surprise the stingy Warriors’ defense with a quick shot. Senior Stephanie Vitone, a captain with seniors Alison Berkowitz and Danielle Wasson, collected the pass and fired a missile at the net. The Brookline goalie, virtually impenetrable for most of the game, could only stand and watch as the ball clanged high off the left post and rattled in. For a moment, the Tigers, frustrated all afternoon by their inability to get on the scoreboard, had stunned everyone at Dickinson Stadium with a spectacular equalizer.
But the goal was too spectacular. Vitone’s blast was called back because of dangerous play, extinguishing the team’s last chance to salvage a tie.
“It would’ve counted if the shot was from seven yards out, not 15,” Myers said. “The shot was too high, and with the defenders in the net, it could’ve really hurt someone.”
“I understand where the referee’s coming from,” she added. “It was the right call, and if that wasn’t called against us, I would’ve had a fit.”
Still, the Tigers can take some positives from an otherwise strong attack that was relentless in the second half.
Senior Bobby Grimshaw entered the game five minutes into the second half, and he made an immediate impact, weaving through Brookline’s defense and revitalizing the Tigers’ offense. On multiple occasions Grimshaw bolted down the middle of the field, only to be stopped by the Warriors’ last lines of defense in front of the goal.
He nearly put the Tigers ahead with slightly under 15 minutes left when he caught the Brookline goalie out of position six yards from the net, but his shot was cleared off the line by a Brookline defender.
Junior Bridget Gillis also created multiple chances for herself down the left wing, consistently beating her defender and carrying the ball to the net. Only a few great defensive plays by the Warriors in the first half kept her from adding her name to the scoresheet.
“Overall, we played well enough to win,” Myers said. “Our defense didn’t support each other at times, but we’re going to regroup and improve.”
“We’re pretty set for the remainder of the season,” she said. “We know who we are and what we can do, and we’re either going to make it or not.”