MADISON, NJ -It did not take long to figure out whether the Madison field hockey team’s defense of its sectional title would be in peril in its state tournament opener.
In fact, if any Dodgers fans had arrived just 15 minutes late to Saturday morning’s matinee at Ted Monica Stadium, they would have missed a 7 goal barrage from the home team.
In total control of visiting Cranford right from the start, Madison (17-2) stormed to an eye-opening 11-0 victory in the first round of the NJSIAA North II, Group II field. The top-seeded Dodgers will now face fourth-seeded Bernards—a 2-0 winner over Raritan in their quarter—on Wednesday.
Four different players scored for Madison in its early charge, including sophomore Stephanie Dellavia, who recorded a hat trick before 9 minutes had even gone by.
“Our passing was great today. I just waited at the far post for the ball to be hit in from Elizabeth (Romano), Emma (Ticknor) and Catherine (Crowley), and I reacted quick,” said Dellavia, who scored her hat trick on a pair of one-timers and a flick on that found its way into the left corner of the net.
Just over two minutes in, Abby Choopoorian got the scoring going for Madison, finishing off a close range shot off a feed from Caroline Turnbull to make it 1-0. It only took 26 seconds for the Dodgers to double their lead, when the Crowley-to-Dellavia connection made it 2-0.
The relentless Madison pressure yielded another just over a minute later, when Crowley found senior Kaitlyn DaSilva for the finish.
“Losing (in the Group II final to Rumson last year) left a really bitter taste, and we want to get back there. The games will get closer and closer, so it’s very important to stay sharp the rest of the season,” said DaSilva.
51 seconds later—at the 24:35 mark, Dellavia made it 4-0 when Emma Ticknor found her at the near post for a flicked on shot. Romano would set up Dellavia’s’s hat trick three minutes later to add a fifth.
Goal number six was a bit different, as Romano dribbled through several defenders, shot and scored the Dodgers’ only unassisted goal on the afternoon. The early barrage ended 67 seconds later when Choopoorian finished off Romano’s third assist on the afternoon.
Gillian Parrett—a freshman—scored a goal later in the half to make it 8-0 at the break, and Amanda DaSilva pumped in two second half goals en route to the eleven goal final.
To demonstrate how dominant the Dodgers were, the Maroon & Gold outshot Cranford by a staggering 36-2 margin. In addition, Madison earned 15 corners to the Cougars’ lone one in the second half.
Cranford (7-11-2) goalie Katatina Polyviou was superb in goal, turning away 22 Madison shots on goal during the gam