By Nelson Coffin
Indoor or outside, Ashley Conway knows how to score goals.
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel senior forward set the school’s single-season goal-scoring record in the recent outdoor season when she rippled the net 37 times for the Cougars, who finished the season with a solid 12-6 mark.
In a 5-1 win over the Institute of Notre Dame on Wednesday afternoon, Conway showed her scoring touch is not diminished when playing on the carpet at Clarence “Du” Burns Arena in Canton in the indoor version of the sport.
She scored four goals in the Cougars’ third triumph in four tries this season, with a 6-5 setback to B Conference-leading Roland Park Country School the only flaw in her team’s pre-Christmas portion of the 2018-19 schedule.
Conway, who scored the game’s first goal late in the first half of a defensive struggle, waited until the final six minutes of the final period to explode for three straight tallies.
At that point, after the Penguins had tied the game when junior Molly Kihn converted a feed from senior Emma Bocanegra early in the second half, Mount Carmel had regained the lead on an 18-yard free kick by junior center back Kate Kovalick with 17 minutes left in the half.
With the outcome still in doubt and the clock ticking down, Conway went to work by combining physicality with technical ability to become the sole author of the Cougars’ 3-0 closing run.
When asked what it is about her that makes her such a prolific scorer, Conway gave a straightforward reply.
“I think that it’s just that I’m intense,” she said. “It’s just like it’s me and the goal, and nothing gets between us.”
Conway took several other good shots as well that were either off-target or were stopped by Kihn, who manned the goal in the first half, and sophomore Devin Sterry, who played in the second half. The duo combined for nine saves, with Kihn making a pair of nifty kick saves before Conway powered in a rebound off the second one for her first goal of the contest.
Early in the game, the Penguins also had a multitude of chances to score and did not take advantage of them, partially due to a fine effort in the goal by sophomore Cassidy Fitzpatrick.
“We couldn’t finish,” IND coach Carlos Bocanegra said. “We’ve been struggling with that a little bit lately.”
Adding to IND’s woes was that an already shallow bench was hampered by injuries that sidelined senior Marianthee Pitsis, junior Amanda Boheme and freshman Ava Wilson during the match.
Conversely, Conway said that the addition of freshmen, such as Zoey Kus, Mattie Brack, Honnie Pall, Kesley Pierce, Kaylin Waclawski and Bella Wojtkowski, has given the Cougars some serious depth.
“I think we have a really good shot this season,” she said.