CHATHAM, NJ - Once the Chatham field hockey team learns to overcome its fear of powerhouse programs, it has the ability be the team that others are afraid to face.
That was the sentiment of Chatham coach Kaitlin Leyden and her players after a 1-0 loss to West Morris on Saturday at Haas Field.
West Morris scored 2:14 into the game and that put Chatham (1-1) on its heels.
"First half, we played a little scared on our toes against a powerhouse team," Leyden said. "They're a great program and they didn't graduate much of their seniors so they all came back and I think the girls mentally didn't prepare for that. They played scared.
"We called a timeout in the first half and they started to get their flow back in the second half they dominated. We were the better team."
Chatham wasn't able to tie the game up, but the Cougars forced West Morris to defend after the final horn with three straight penalty corners in a bid to tie (see the video below).
"We didn't play our best until the second half and if we had played that way the whole game it would have been very different," Carlin Chazen, Chatham defender, said. "They came out with a fast goal and we weren't really prepared. We really dominated in the second half. We had it on offense the whole time, we just couldn't end up finishing. We were extremely aggressive and we played with them. In the first half, we played scared."