CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham senior Avery Buckman thought it happened when she was a freshman. Cougar coach Kaitlin Leyden was pretty sure it was three years ago.
It hardly mattered that Chatham had trouble finding the answer to the pop quiz about when it last won a field hockey game over West Morris. The Cougars had the answer and passed the test that counted on the field by producing an impressive 2-1 win on Wednesday at Haas Field.
For the record, undefeated Chatham (4-0) last defeated West Morris (2-2) on Sept. 8 in the 2018 season opener, 2-1. The Cougars had lost four straight to the Wolfpack since then.
"It's been a long time," Leyden said. "They're always a hard team to get over. They're an amazing program, that's why they're ranked in the state. It's all just coming together for us. These seniors are great leaders and they add so much to the team, more than we've ever had before from a senior class."
Junior Kate McManus scored her first career varsity goal in the first period when she deflected Charlotte Hamilton's drive from outside the circle over the goalie's head and into the cage to make it 1-0 for Chatham.
After Ellen Gomez tied the game with a goal early in the third quarter, Buckman scored with 3:44 showing in the third when she ran to the near post and redirected Hamilton's drive inside the far post to break the tie.
Avery Buckman and Kate McManus talk about the Chatham win
Buckman has scored a goal in each of Chatham's four wins this season and has 4 goals and an assist thus far.
"Avery is by far one of our hardest workers," Leyden said. "Avery just never, ever gives up. Whenever you think she's tired, she gets her speed going faster and faster. She just never, ever stops and then eventually she scores."
Buckman inserted the ball and then got into position to score
The Cougars took the early lead off a penalty corner. McManus ran into the middle and got her stick on Hamilton's drive.
"That was really pretty that one," Leyden said. "Ham hit it and Kate got her stick down at an angle and popped it over. She's extremely talented."
McManus lifts the ball over the West Morris goalie to make it 1-0
COUGAR NOTES: Chatham sophomore midfielder/defender Maddie Engelkraut was given the assignment of face-guarding Sophia Prata of West Morris and held her scoreless.
"Maddie had one of their best players and she did a great job covering her," Leyden said.
Engelkraut said her goal was to stay as close as she could and not allow Prata room to play the ball.
"She did a little bit of smack talking, but when you're face-covering someone that's bound to happen," Engelkraut said. "Basically, my goal was to be like a fly and stay on her the whole time and not let her get the ball. It definitely wasn't easy. We practice very hard, but it was a lot of fun."
Chatham senior goalies Connie Conlan and Grace Zinn were each credited with three saves.
In that 2018 win, Charlotte Hamilton and Avery Buckman had each scored a goal in the second half when Chatham topped West Morris, 2-1, on the road ... Chatham fashioned a 13-5-2 record in reaching the state sectional final in 2019, with three of those losses coming to West Morris.