CHATHAM, NJ - The miserable weather conditions made it a game that the Chatham field hockey team would like to put out of its mind as soon as possible.
Chatham lost its home opener to Montville, 5-2, in a game played through a steady downpour on Thursday at Haas Field.
"Everyone has a bad game and this can be ours," Chatham's first-year coach Kaitlin Leyden said. "I want them to know it's a group effort. We're all to blame, including myself. We didn't communicate and got caught watching the ball."
Montville (1-0) got a goal from Kellie Vizzuso just 1:02 into the action and then boosted its lead to 2-0 when Rachel McHale connected off a corner.
Chatham (1-1), which won on the road over Summit in its opener, turned the game around when junior Ellie Walker scored twice in span of 51 seconds to make it a 2-2 game.
Walker scored an unassisted goal to make it 2-1 and then tied the score on an assist by Jess Barry. Barry was on the left wing when she made a hard hit into the circle that Walker redirected into the net with 12:18 left in the half.
But Montville regained the lead on a goal by Jen Jasterzbski, which was set up by Vizzuso, with 7:20 left before the halftime break. Two goals in the second half sealed it for Montville.
"We really need to clean it up with our skills and our communication is not where we want it to be," senior forward Emily Wingate said. "In practice we've been trying to emphasize that point. In Summit, the second half we really connected. This game, we were not there at all. We just did not work together. Coach said we were obviously the better team, we just couldn't put it together."
The Lady Cougars talked it over after the game and came to a consensus that there needed to be more communication on the field.
"We're struggling with communication a little and I think it will come," senior defender Jackie Krieger said. "We're a new team. We lost almost all of our starting lineup. It's going to come with spending more time with each other."
Kate Purschke inserts the ball to Noelle Besette in game vs. Montville at Haas Field
Chatham field hockey played through some hard rain conditions during the first half on Thursday.