CHATHAM, NJ - There were plenty of goals and assists to talk about after the undefeated Chatham field hockey team won its sixth straight game of the season, 5-1, over Montville on Wednesday at Haas Field.
Chatham coach Kaitlin Leyden, however, took some time to throw some love toward senior co-captain Charlotte Hamilton.
"She's a defensive mid, so a lot of the time she might not get the stats of it, because a lot of people look at goals and assists, but she's the playmaker and sets the tempo of our game," Leyden said. "Her distribution of the ball, her passes and switching of the field is so spot on and so instrumental for our team. They thrive off of that as well. She's an insanely good player. I just think sometimes it's whoever gets the most goals and the assists who get all the credit."
Hamilton certainly was a factor in the game for the Cougars, who found themselves behind in a game for the first time when Gina Marotta scored to give Montville (3-5) a 1-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Hamilton kept Chatham on the attack with her long hits and accurate passes, keeping the Cougars in an offensive mode that put added pressure on the Mustangs.
Chatham had plenty to crow about in this one as senior Avery Buckman continued her torrid scoring streak with her seventh and eighth goals. She now has scored at least a goal in every game.
Senior Alexa Lee earned credit for three assists and the Cougars received a goal apiece from Claire Tunny, Kate McManus and Paige DiBiase.
Tunny, Buckman, Lee and Hamilton talk about Chatham's 6th Win
Lee picks up the first of her three assists when she sends the ball into the circle and Buckman wins it from two Montville defenders and fires it past the goalie from a hard angle (see below). Her sixth goal of the season extended her scoring streak to six games for Chatham (6-0).
Chatham's offense erupted for four goals in the second half, sparked by Tunny's rebound goal off a shot by Lee (see below) for a 2-1 edge.
Five minutes later, Chatham scored off a penalty corner with Buckman inserting the ball to McManus, who wound up to blast a shot from just inside the circle that banged off the backboard ( see below) for a 3-1 advantage.
Buckman scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the first minute of the fourth quarter, collecting a pass from DiBiase and spinning to knock home her shot (see below). DiBiase then closed out the scoring about a minute later.
COUGAR NOTES: Chatham will seek its seventh win of the season when it plays host to Morristown in a 10 a.m. Halloween morning game at Haas Field ... Chatham won at Morristown, 1-0, on Oct. 12 ... the Cougars are averaging 3.6 goals per game and has outscored its opposition, 22 to 7 ... Eight different Cougars have connected for goals: Avery Buckman (7 goals, 1 assist), Claire Tunny (4 goals, 1 assist), Alexa Lee (3 goals, 5 assists), Paige DiBiase (3 goals, 3 assists), Kate McManus (2 goals), Charlotte Hamilton (1 goal, 5 assists), Brooke DiBiase (1 goal, 1 assist), Carlin Chazen (1 goal).