GUILFORD >> For most of the first 39 minutes, the Hand field hockey team dominated, but couldn’t finish anything off.
From the opening whistle, the Tigers pretty much had the ball in Guilford’s end, but it took a scramble in front of the cage and a Brenna Hobin goal to lift Hand to a 1-0 SCC victory over its archrival Monday night at Kavanaugh Field.
Hand, which outshot Guilford 11-5, also had a 9-2 edge in corners and it was the seventh of those corners that was the difference.
Hannah Leckey sent the ball out to the middle and it was banged toward the net. Leckey collected the ball and took a shot that went off the pads of Guilford goalie Brooke Misbach (10 saves). The rebound went right to Katie Omdahl, who then shoved the ball over to Hobin on the right side and she blasted a shot past Misbach, who couldn’t get over to the other side in time.
“I was trying to get it into the goal any way I could,” said Hobin, who had perhaps Hand’s best chance of scoring in the first half 10 minutes into the game, but it was turned away by Misbach.
But on the only goal, Misbach just couldn’t get turned around in time.
“She (Misbach) couldn’t get back, but she played well,” Guilford coach Kitty Palmer said.
Hobin said that after a scoreless first half, the Tigers had to step up their game.
“We were trying to be more aggressive,” Hobin said. “They were tough on defense.”
Hand coach Sue Leckey agreed.
“I don’t think it was our mistakes as much as they were tough as heck in the circle,” she said. “The top of their defense did a great job there and I was frustrated that we weren’t getting corners.”
Guilford’s best chances came midway through the second half. Mackenzie Cattaruzza blasted a shot wide from about 20 feet out and then Grace Ireland’s corner wasn’t close to the cage.
“She (Cattaruzza) didn’t get a very good shot off,” Palmer said. “That and Grace (Ireland) on a corner that went wide.”
Guilford never was able to get a consistent threat against the Hand defense and goaltender Mel Rennie, who made five saves.
“We haven’t quite found the right combination,” Palmer said. “We’re still working to find who belongs where. I’m semi-pleased, but we have to get more shots.”
Hand, which is 2-0 after beating Branford 4-0 in its opener last Tuesday, still has some work to do according to Sue Leckey.
“I’m real happy to be 2-0, but Guilford exploited a few things today,” she said. “We have a little weakness on our left side and they were persistent there. I walk away from playing Guilford knowing we had to battle.”
Guilford, which lost its opener to Cheshire last Tuesday, 2-1, is winless in two outings, but that can be attributed to having half of its starting lineup graduate.
“I’m not disappointed because of who we played,” Palmer said. “This is going to be a little bit of a process. We’re inexperienced in a lot of areas. With five or six starters back, we have a lot of girls who haven’t played varsity before.”