Lakers, Hornets battle to a draw

Home field advantage didn’t give the edge the Pen High Lakers junior girls field hockey team might have hoped for.

PEN HIGH Lakers players break downfield ahead of South Okanagan Secondary’s Brooke Jesus during junior girls field hockey at Penticton Secondary School Wednesday. The teams played to a 1-1 draw.

PEN HIGH Lakers players break downfield ahead of South Okanagan Secondary’s Brooke Jesus during junior girls field hockey at Penticton Secondary School Wednesday. The teams played to a 1-1 draw.

Home field advantage didn’t give the edge the Pen High Lakers junior girls field hockey team might have hoped for.

With a rubber match against the South Okanagan Secondary School Hornets on Wednesday, the teams settled for a 1-1 tie. The Hornets defeated the Lakers in Oliver on Monday 2-1.  However, Lakers coach Kersten Grant was thrilled with how her team played.

“It’s the second game of the season and it’s a new team,” said Grant. “For some girls it’s the first year they have even picked up sticks. I think their teamwork was good and I think their energy and effort was good.”

Grant was happy with the Lakers positional play as they utilized the field. For their next game against the Hornets (both teams play each other four times), Grant wants to work on defensive skills and positioning.

“We were a little bit scrambly on our set plays,” she said.

Hornets coach Lesley Noftle felt the Lakers played well. The Hornets had to be cautious as the Lakers possess a couple of players with speed and can hit the ball.

“It makes the counterattack a really dangerous thing for us to defend against,” said Noftle. “Their counterattack is blisteringly fast. They scored one goal on a turnaround like that. To have a 1-1 tie is a good thing.”

After being disorganized in their first game, the Hornets coach said her team played better defensively. The key for them was better support and communication. Among the positives Noftle saw was solid low tackling.

“It was fantastic,” she said. “Had a little more aggression, which is important for them because they are really nice.”