By GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Connecticut Sports Online
FARMINGTON, Oct. 4,2001 -- Wamogo Regional field hockey coach Mary Duran didn't take the bus with her team from Litchfield. She met her team in the parking lot of John P. Grocki Field and sat them down for a serious talk.
"They didn't know what they were up against," Duran said. "So I told them what they were going to face. I told them Farmington was a great team, really difficult and how this game went would decide how the season would go for us. I turn around and Megan
(Feeley) says, 'I'm scared.' "I asked them if they were ready for this?" Duran said.
Wamogo, undefeated (6-0) and ranked fifth in the state coaches poll, scored its game-winning goal with 7:18 left in the game to beat the Indians, 2-1 in a battle of top 10 teams at Tunxis Mead Thursday night.
The goal came only a minute and 32 seconds after No. 8 Farmington had tied the contest when Jen Boyle redirected a hard pass from Jess Dahle past Wamogo goalie Laura DeJulia with 8:50 to go in the contest.
Boyle's first goal of the season capped off a furious second-half surge by Farmington (5-1-1) that included eight penalty corners. Doyle leaned to reach Dahle's pass and deflect it into the goal.
The first half was mainly a battle in the midfield, except for an outstanding diving deflection by FHS goalie Cara Pasquale (9 saves) off a shot by Feeley that Indian defender Noreen Stewart kept out of the goal with a stick save.
But hard-hitting Wamogo had several good opportunities. They cashed in on its first chance early in the second half
Wamogo's Paige Bennett redirected a high crossing pass from Jess Odenwaelder past Pasquale for a 1-0 lead about five minute into the second half. That goal jumpstarted the Indians attack.
DeJulia stopped Stewart at point-blank range and made a big stop on a hard shot by Dahle and Rebecca Nickerson.
Farmington's hard work paid off with Boyle's goal that tied the game. But Wamogo responded quickly, finding a gap in the Farmington defense and quickly moving downfield. In front of the goal, Jess Odenwaelder took a great crossing pass from her freshman sister Justine Odenwaelder to put the visitors back on top again.
"We wanted to win very badly," said Becca Odenwaelder, Wamogo's senior captain and the oldest of the three Odenwaelder's on the squad. "This game shows where we are and what we are made of."
Duran was particularly pleased with her team's defensive efforts against Farmington. "I can't believe how well the defense played," she said. "We were low [to the ground] and we kept our sticks flat."
Wamogo stopped several Farmington drives in the circle, disrupting an Indian offense that had scored 14 goals in its previous four contests.
"They were a great team," Farmington coach Lorene McLaughlin said. "They were a good team to lose to. We were able to play up to their level and they had to move up play at our level (in the second half). They have good stickwork."
The Indians learned a few lessons about mental discipline and keeping up with an aggressive, hard-hitting opponent.
"Sometimes, it's good to have a drawback at this point of the season," McLaughlin said. "You can improve on weaknesses and capitalize on strengths."
Farmington has a week off before facing Fermi-Enfield and Watertown in back-to-back road games next Thursday and Friday. Wamogo beat Farmington a year ago also by
a 2-1 score.
Wamogo 2, Farmington 1
Wamogo (6-0) 0 2 -- 2
Farmington (5-1-1) 0 1 -- 1
Goals - Jen Boyle (F), Paige Bennett (W), Jess Odenwaelder (W); Assists - Megan Dahle (F), Jess Odenwaelder (W), Justine Odenwaelder (W); Saves Cara Pasquale (F) 9, Laura DeJulia (W) 8; Penalty corners --