Corinth- The Tilton sisters combined to score all five goals to lead the John Bapst Crusaders to a 5-3 victory over the Central Red Devils in high school field hockey action. Emily Tilton scored three goals and had one assist. Elise Tilton put in two goals and had two assists in the Crusaders victory on Tuesday afternoon.
“Emily and Elise are phenomenal,” John Bapst Coach Gina Schuck said. “You just do not see that skill on grass.in high school hockey. On turf they are amazing but to see them have that kind of skill on grass too is nice.”
The Crusaders were able to get only one goal in the first half. It was not due to lack of chances. They took 11 first half shots but were only able to get one by freshman goalie, Brianna Skolfield. That one goal came off the stick of Emily Tilton with 5:06 remaining in the first half.
The Crusaders used a new defense. In the first half that worked great as they allowed only three shots as they took a 1-0 halftime lead.
“In the first half especially we were playing a little different formation,” Schuck said. “We changed formation on grass. This is the first time we played with it. We did really well.”
The offensive play stepped up in the second half. Elise Tilton scored on a pass from Emily with 21:57 remaining in the second half. That started a five minute stretch where the team combined to score four goals.
Emily Tilton gave John Bapst a 3-0 lead with 17:53 remaining in the second half. Abby Colbry put in the Red Devils first goal just 53 seconds later. Katie Blanchard got the assist. The Crusaders followed that up with a goal from Emily Tilton just 23 seconds later.
Colbry took a pass from Kayla Grindle and put in her second goal of the game with 8:25 remaining in the second half. It was the second time that the Red Devils cut the lead down to two goals in the second half. Just like the previous time the Crusaders put the lead back up to three goals just over 20 seconds later. This time it was Elise Tilton who put one in just 22 seconds later. It gave the Crusaders a 5-2 lead with 8:03 remaining.
“They do not like to give it up. They are going to take it upon themselves to get it back. You get a comfortable lead and you try and get others involved,” Schuck said. “You need to change that momentum and they can change that momentum in a hurry.”
Emily Tilton added, “”We don’t like it to get that close. Central is a fantastic team. We knew we were going to have to give it our all. We had a great effort. I am really happy with everybody. We really step up when we have to play hard teams. We work really well together.”
John Bapst plays their home games on the turf at the University of Maine. Schuck feels her team is better prepared to play on grass but is hoping her team does well enough down the stretch where they will not have to leave the turf come playoff time.
“We are hoping we are going to play on turf all the way through the playoffs. We continue to play like we can play that will put us in good position to have home field until Eastern Maine hopefully,” Schuck said. “We play differently on grass. This year we focused on practicing more on grass. Last year we had so much to get use to playing on the turf we really focused on the turf game last year. It really affected our grass game. We are more comfortable now.”
Emily Tilton added, “A lot of people think it is unfair for us to play on the turf. If you think about it.they only have to play one game on the turf. While we have to play seven games on the grass. It just enhances your skill. If you have those skills it makes them better. It just makes the game faster.”
It was difficult to tell by the way she played but the Crusaders were not sure if Elise Tilton was going to be able to play.
“We were a little worried because Elise got hurt in practice yesterday,” Schuck said. “We were not sure if she was going to be a go today.. She doesn’t give up.”
Playing against players as skilled as the Tilton sisters can get into a teams head. Red Devils Coach Diane Rollins believes that is exactly what happened to her team.
“They (Emily and Elise Tilton) are very skilled. I think sometimes when we prepare for good players it gets into our head,” Rollins said. “I see these guys (Central) getting better every game they play. Now if they start believing it. We had our chances to score more goals then three.”
Skolfield finished with nine saves on 19 shots. Colby scored all three goals for the Red Devils. Central (7-3) will next play Thursday, September 29th at Foxcroft Academy.
Aubrey Stanislawski finished with five saves on 11 shots for the Crusaders. John Bapst (8-1) will next play on Friday, September 30th when they travel to Orono.