The Toll Gate field hockey team grinded out a tough 1-0 win over host Rocky Point last week in East Greenwich.
Although Rocky Point dictated the pace throughout the majority of the first half, the Titans would dominate in the second and get the eventual game-winner from Hope Flaherty with 8:26 remaining in regulation.
“We’ve been starting slow. The first 20 minutes they were taking it to us but the last 10 minutes of the first half you could see the momentum switching. We really dominated territorially for the second half,” said Toll Gate coach Jim Areson.
Areson felt that it was a well-rounded win for the Titans, and was excited to see some new players emerge.
“Hope Flaherty got her first varsity goal on a nice assist from Kate DeWolf. I thought Kate played a great game today, Nicole Proccacini, our fullbacks, our defenders did a great job of keeping them back. They were really in the game mentally and did everything right. It was very, very solid,” said Areson.
Areson was also happy to see his team play with intensity in the second half and not take its foot off the gas once it went ahead late in the contest.
“It was mostly mentality. It’s one of those sports where once the ball gets rolling it’s really on them. It’s all about intensity, and I want them to know if they outwork, out want and outmuscle other teams then good things will happen. The team that can ratchet up the intensity like we have in spurts is usually the team that wins,” said Areson. “I tell them all the time; a 1-0 lead just means that we’re one mistake from a tie. As long as the ball stays down on their end, it’s hard for the other team to score. Our fullbacks were really good today, it gives us a long to build on.
Toll Gate improved to 3-2 with the win and will take on inter-city rival Pilgrim, who the Titans enjoyed a 4-2 comeback win over early in the season. Toll Gate has never topped Pilgrim twice in a season, and looks forward to taking on the red-hot Patriots who are atop the standings.
“We lost to Classical last week and we talked about how good teams respond. I’d like to see us score more goals but that will come with more opportunities. We’re a work in progress,” said Areson. “If we play like we did against them in the second half (of the first match) then I like our chances. That was the best half we have played this year … we can’t start off slow.”