CHATHAM, NJ – Senior Natalia Maurillo scored two goals in less than a four minute span at the beginning of the first half and Hannah Reader added two more scores in the second half as the Chatham Lady Cougars defeated Bernards High School 4-1 on Friday afternoon at Haas Field in Chatham.
Chatham got things rolling offensively right off the bat when they maintained possession in the Bernardsville zone. Maurillo netted her first tally off a corner when teammate Bridget McNally fed her a pass in the opposition’s box that she fired into the cage.
Maurillo got her second score just 3:29 later. After another corner penalty, defensive back Eve Schmidt sent a ball on goal that deflected off the stick of Muarillo, past Bernards goalie Erin O’Brien and into the back of the net. That goal put the home team up 2-0 early on in the opening half.
“Our team came out really strong and we were ready to play,” Maurillo said after the game. “We wanted to put them (Bernards) under pressure in the first half. We worked the ball up the field and (drew) a lot of corners,” she added about her team’s start.
Bernards got a goal midway through the second half off a deflection to make the contest a one goal affair. However, Chatham would come right back and score two quick goals of their own to increase their lead by three.
A ball was rolling around the Bernards box and came to the stick of Reader who was standing near the left side of the goal. She wound up and took a hard shot that went into the back left corner of the goal.
Reader’s second goal came on a similar play about 1:14 later. Maurillo gathered up a ball at the center of the box and fed a pass to Reader. The senior fired the ball into the net as Chatham was up 4-1 with just over six and half minutes left in the contest.
“We have the capability to score goals pretty quickly. You always want to attack and try to wear things down,” Chatham Head Coach Jeremy Heinze said after the game. “When we get chances, we convert more often than not.”
With less than two minutes left in the game, Maurillo had a chance to net a hat trick goal. Reader flipped her a nice pass in front of the opposition’s net, but her shot attempt sailed just wide.
Still, that score would have only looked nice on the stat sheet as the Chatham defense did more than enough to preserve the team’s lead throughout the game. They allowed only five shots on goal all game and goaltender Kimmy Pyhel finished with three saves.
“We didn’t play bad at any facet of the game. Our backs played very well. We cleared corners. Our defense doesn’t let up a lot of shots on goal,” Coach Heinze said. “That’s what we try to do and it worked today.”
Chatham finished with 13 shots on goal and earned 11 penalty corners. They are now 8-2 after Friday afternoon’s win and will next travel to play West Morris High School on Monday, October 3rd at 4 p.m.