CHATHAM, NJ - The only downside to Chatham's 5-2 field hockey win over Mendham on "Senior Day" is that the Cougars will have to wait nine days for their next game set for Monday, Oct. 26 vs. Parsippany Hills at Haas Field.
In the meantime, the Cougars can feel good about their 5-0 (4-0 NJAC) start to the season as five different players connected for goals against Mendham (2-2-1, 2-1-1 NJAC).
"Mendham was by far one of the tougher teams we played because they play very similar to us and their forwards are hard marks to get down but our girls kind of pushed through and played as a unit. I think that wins games," Chatham coach Kaitlin Leyden said.
It looked like the Cougars were going to breeze past the Minutemen when Alexa Lee scored five minutes into the game (see below) and Paige DiBiase connected off a penalty corner with 1:37 left in the third period (see video) for a 2-0 advantage.
But Mendham suddenly got back in it when Riley Lewthwaite converted a penalty stroke with just 58 seconds left in the first quarter, cutting the lead in half.
After a scoreless second quarter, Chatham regained control in the third quarter on consecutive goals by senior Claire Tunny and sophomore Brooke DiBiase for a 4-1 cushion.
"That's the good part about our team is that we have pretty good mental toughness," Leyden said. "If they score they just bring the ball back up, put it on the 50-yard line and keep going."
Goal scorers Alexa Lee, Claire Tunny, Paige DiBiase and Brooke DiBiase talk about 5-0 start to the season
Tunny scored a big goal with 6:50 left in the third quarter to make it a two-goal lead (see below) for her third goal of the season.
DiBiase, who also was credited with an assist in the game, netted the first goal of her career, off a Chatham penalty corner. Charlotte Hamilton's drive hit off the goalie's pads and DiBiase collected the rebound and knocked it home with 3:47 showing in the third (see below).
Megan McIntyre scored in the fourth quarter for Mendham before Chatham senior Avery Buckman kept her personal streak alive by scoring in her fifth straight game with 4:45 left in the game.
'We've beaten every team in the conference so far but the girls have to do it again," Leyden said. "We're off for a week and then we start up again."
COUGAR NOTES: Chatham is averaging more than three goals a game, having outscored the opposition, 17 to 6, in its five wins ... senior Avery Buckman (5 goals, 1 assist) has scored a goal in each game, while seniors Alexa Lee (3 goals, 2 assists), Claire Tunny (3 goals, 1 assist) and Paige DiBiase (2 goals, 2 assists) have scored multiple goals. Senior Carlin Chazen (1 goal), senior Charlotte Hamilton (1 goal, 5 assists), junior Kate McManus and sophomore Brooke DiBiase (1 goal, 1 assist) give the Cougars eight different goal scorers.