Taylor Vaccaro and her Oley Valley teammates only know one way to play field hockey, with 100% all-out effort.
Wednesday night at Oley, the Lynx needed nearly every ounce of energy they had to turn back a challenge from neighborhood rival Fleetwood.
Vaccaro scored a goal and assisted on another to help the undefeated Lynx defeat Fleetwood 3-1 and take a big step toward winning the Division III title in the Berks League.
“We knew if we could play our hearts out we could come out with the win,” Vaccaro said. “I think we work really well together.”
The Lynx (8-0, 14-0) need to win just one of their final two league games to clinch the division title. The Tigers (6-2, 11-2) did their best to slow down the Lynx, but still lost to Oley Valley for the second time this season.
Vaccaro assisted on a goal by Alexandra Lopez in the final seconds of the first quarter. Fleetwood’s Casey Lynn Dewald, who missed the first game against Oley because of an injury, tied it midway through the second quarter.
It was just the fifth goal allowed by Oley this season.
“I think we came out strong today,” said Natalie Slusser, one of the Fleetwood captains. “We played hard and we played to the best of our abilities. What it comes down to is being confident in ourselves.”
The game remained tied until Abigail Thompson scored off the first of two assists by Ryanne Wheeler with 7:10 left in the third quarter.
Fleetwood, which was held to two shots, kept it a one-goal game until Vaccaro scored off an assist from Wheeler with 1:50 left.
“We know we’re always going to get a good game from Fleetwood,” said Oley Valley coach Tiffany Cappellano. “Fleetwood competed tonight. There were moments where they definitely beat us to the ball.”
But the Lynx had the better of the game on the scoreboard and the stat sheet. Oley Valley finished with advantages of 16-2 in shots and 8-0 in penalty corners.
Goalie Elizabeth Miller kept the Tigers in the game by making 13 saves. Cenora Grim made one save for Oley.
“We were definitely excited to have a game of this caliber,” Cappellano said. “It gave us the opportunity to see what we still need to work on. These are the type of games we want. We want games where we have to compete, we have to step up.”
Source: Berkshire mont