South holds on for 1-0 win against North in opener

By: Thomas Franz | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 4, 2013

 Grosse Pointe South’s Claire Fisher (26) battles for possession with North’s Kate Lechner during the game at South on Aug. 28.

Grosse Pointe South’s Claire Fisher (26) battles for possession with North’s Kate Lechner during the game at South on Aug. 28.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The Gosse Pointe South field hockey team used an early goal by Samantha Schervish and then relied on its defense to claim a 1-0 victory against Grosse Pointe North on Aug. 28 at South.

Schervish’s goal with 20:51 left in the opening half capped off a flurry of opportunities that South had in the early moments against its crosstown rivals.

“Samantha (Schervish) is a senior and definitely a leader. She’s improved a ton, and she will be one of our stars,” said South coach Millie Tompkins. “Bridgette Champane and Alex Rogers, they’re our little powerhouse in the middle. They always try to have some huge shots. They’re able to control the field, dribble through people … and can take a crazy shot at the end which is always great.”

Although the first half belonged to South, North took control of possession in the second half, but the Norsemen were unable to fully take advantage. With her teammates tiring — the Blue Devils had a 7 p.m. game Aug. 27 — South goalie Sydney Calhoun provided a firm last line of defense, making two close-range saves with 11 minutes left in the second half.

“The keeper definitely stood out, and our defenders were really strong. They stayed low, and they cleared out what they could. I think at the end of the game was a breakdown a little bit from the entire team, but I think our defenders really stayed strong,” Tompkins said.

North coach Brittany Paquette explained that a change in attitude at halftime helped to spark North’s comeback.

“We used the same strategy, but now they were implementing it. They were just being more aware of their own play, their body position relative to where the ball is and where their supporting teammates were,” Paquette said. “I think people just became more aware, and they started to play more in sync with each other, rather than just individually.”

Paquette said after losing six or seven seniors from last year’s team, this year’s group is still trying to learn what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are.

“A lot of these girls, this is the first time playing together in an official game, so we’re still working on chemistry, seeing who plays best with who, and just working on transitioning the ball from the back to the front and vice versa on defense,” Paquette said.

Despite giving up some late opportunities, Tompkins said she was pleased with her team’s effort against its crosstown rivals.

“We definitely got a little bit tired. I think we need to work on getting better in shape, but we did well,” Tompkins said. “We have the skills, and we’re going to improve. We played last night (Aug. 27), as well, and I’m sure we were a bit beaten down from it.”

South (2-0) takes on Grosse Pointe University Liggett Sept. 7; North (0-1) hosted Farmington Sept. 3, after press time, and hit the road for a 430 p.m. game against Warren Regina Sept. 10.