by Donald Daniels
All season long the Key School field hockey team had numerous obstacles thrown their way, from losing key players to injury, to having nearly half of the practices indoors because of weather. So when they were tied with top-seeded Friends school in the IAAM C Conference championship, the Obezags did what they did best, rose to the challenge. Leading the way was senior Delaney Snowden who knocked in two goals to propel the Obezags to a 3-1 win over the Quakers at Archbishop Spalding High School.
“We faced a lot of challenges this year and I am just proud that we were able to overcome those challenges and win this championship, Snowden said.
“There were so many obstacles that we had to face this season, but the girls just kept working hard and I am proud of the effort,” Key coach Jen Langdon said.
Both of Snowden’s goals came in the second half and outside of winning the championship, she had another goal in her mind.
“Mostly, I didn’t want to go into overtime,” Snowden said. “I just wanted to put it all there, because this was our last game.”
Things came full circle for Snowden who was a freshman on the 2015 championship team, which happened to be the last time Key won the C Conference field hockey crown.
Friends School (12-4) had their fair share of chances, as the Quakers had ten corner opportunities while Key only had six.
Junior goalie Angela Harris was impressive in the cage and had a game-high, eight saves for Key.
Sophomore Addison Neise gave Key (12-6) the lead at the 21 minute and 24 second mark in the first half off an Elizabeth Hughes assist. Friends responded with a goal of their own 12 minutes later when sophomore Sophia Kessenich fed a pass to Sofia Geocadin three yards outside the cage on the right side. The Quaker equalizer kept the game tied heading into halftime.
“We talked about positioning on the field and making sure that we didn’t push too high,” Langdon said. “Delaney [Snowden] was there to back up the girls, she sees the next pass and she knows where to put the ball so the girls can make the right play.”
The second half belonged to Snowden who broke up several possessions for Friends at midfield to stonewall the Quaker offense. Snowden scored her first goal by evading a defender and poked the ball into left corner of the cage to give the Obezags the lead at 2-1 with 16 minutes left in game. Six minutes later Snowden would strike again, Key’s Sophia Petrini and Maggie Baum worked the ball around and Snowden was able to find a crack in the Quaker defense and fired in a goal to pad the Key lead by two goals.
Friends was not able to get any clean shots in the final minutes. The Quaker 14-year championship field hockey drought will continue for another season.
“The girls had a mindset all season long that they were going to go the championship game and they did it,” Friends coach Baily Kerr said. “Everyday they were reminded of that and they had to work hard and they did, today we just couldn’t finish, but as far as how they played all year, I couldn’t have asked for better.”