Lady Titans come away 1-1 in weekend showdowns
The weekend was a mixed bag for the Warwick girls’ hockey team, as it took care of business on Friday night but couldn’t quite get over the hump the next night.
The Lady Titans used a dominant final two periods to defeat Bay View for the second time this season on Friday, winning 8-2 for their third straight win.
The next night, Warwick fell behind Mount St. Charles 3-0 after the first period before losing 6-1.
Still, the Lady Titans are in good shape. At 3-2, they’re in third place in the Emma Division, trailing only Mount and undefeated La Salle – the team that gave Warwick its other loss on the season.
“This being our last year, we want to play as well as we can,” senior Casey McCormick said after the win over Bay View. “We’re already playing really well.”
On Dec. 14, Warwick beat Bay View 12-1, so it was certainly confident coming the second match-up. Early on, though, goals didn’t come easily. The Lady Titans controlled play, but couldn’t get a puck past Bay View goalie Adrianna Cardillo.
The period ended 0-0.
“We didn’t play as good as the first time we played them,” Warwick head coach Dave Tibbetts said. “It took us a period to get going. They improved as well. They played a much better game tonight.”
Warwick finally got on the scoreboard less than a minute into the first, as Emily Fox backhanded a shot on net and McCormick swept in the rebound, putting the team up 1-0.
Less than two minutes later, however, Bay View struck back. Lexi Rodi carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. She got to the left of Warwick goalie Kayleen Murphy and slipped the puck past her to tie the score at one.
“We had played them last Friday and it wasn’t an easy win, but we came out first shift and scored,” Fox said. “We came out today and we were definitely expecting to get quick goals. I’m happy they made us work for it.”
From there, the Lady Titans took over. Freshman Kelsey Holmes broke the tie at the 11:30 mark, carrying the puck onto Cardillo and stuffing it past her pads to make it 2-1.
Six minutes later, Holmes threw the puck on net from the left-wing circle and it snuck into the net for her second goal of the game. Fox and Madison Balutowski were credited with assists.
The game was a breakout performance for Holmes, who ended up with four goals when it was all said and done.
“She’s working hard,” Tibbetts said of Holmes. “When she came off the ice after the fourth one, I said, ‘How many do you have?’ She said, ‘Four but I’ve only seen two.’ They just happened to trickle in. But she’s on the puck a lot.”
With under a minute to play in the second, Warwick padded its lead before the final period when Julianna Mollo finished on a hard Warwick charge up the ice. That made the score 4-1.
It took a period to get going, but the Lady Titans’ offense was in full control.
“I never have doubt in my offense or my defense,” Murphy said. “If I can’t trust my team how are they going to trust me?”
The onslaught continued in the third period, as Fox put a shot on net less than two minutes in, and Holmes brushed it in for her third goal of the game.
Later on, Holmes scored for a fourth time before Bay View got its second goal on a rebound shot by Julia Plumb at the 6:05 mark.
With 1:06 to play, Fox – the team’s leading scorer from last season – scored, and then she assisted on the team’s final goal, which came off the stick of McCormick with 53 seconds left.
“She’s getting a lot of attention every game because of her reputation,” Tibbetts said of Fox. “Everyone is focusing on her, but that’s kind of opening some things up for some of the other players.”
The next night, against Mount, a slow start cost the Lady Titans. They were down 3-0 after the first and 4-0 after the second. Though Fox scored in the third period, it wasn’t enough.
Still, Warwick will have a chance at revenge as the season wears on. It still has to play La Salle and Mount two more times.
In the meantime, the Lady Titans will be off this weekend before getting back in action in January. Their next league game is Saturday, Jan. 5 against the Cranston co-op team at Thayer Arena.
“We haven’t been consistent yet, but it’s going to come during the course of the season,” Tibbetts said. “We’re trying to get better every week.”