By Keith Harrington
When a team is scoring goals at the blistering pace the Granville field hockey offense is, sometimes defense can get overshadowed. Saturday morning the Golden Horde offense had another solid performance, but the defense was also flawless once again.
Goalie Megan Decker and the Granville backline recorded their third consecutive shutout to begin the season as the Golden Horde blanked Corinth 4-0 in Adirondack-Wasaren League action.
In front of Decker, the defense is anchored by Lauren Bascom, flanked by Megan Hover and Kathryn Miller, who have been a stone wall in the first three games.
“Our defense doesn’t get enough credit,” said Golden Horde assistant coach Jessica Sheldon.
Even with their recent success, the Riverhawks have been a thorn in the side of Granville at times in recent years, but Katie Barber’s team was all business on this day.
“We just talked about the fact that everybody’s on offense. Everybody’s on defense. Defense is the first line of offense, offense is the first line of defense. These girls are just working so well together. They put in the effort and time,” Barber said after the game.
Makenna McKnight gave Granville a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game with an unassisted goal.
The Golden Horde increased their advantage at the 3:42 mark of the second period on an unassisted goal from Mackenzie Martell.
Martell hit the back of the cage for the second time in the game with 6:07 to play in the third to make it 3-0. Haylie Barber was credited with the assist.
Ella Olsen banged home a pass from Barber in the fourth for the final tally of the game.
Granville outshot Corinth 15-1 and had 15 offensive corners. Corinth had just four offensive corners.
Decker had one save in goal for Granville. Sydney Crombaen stopped 11 shots for the Riverhawks.
The Golden Horde have now outscored their opponents 18-0 in the first three outings.
“We’re really impressed with how the team is coming together, but we still have work to do,” Barber added.
Granville raised its mark to 2-0, 3-0. Corinth is 0-1, 1-1.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Granville rolled to its second win of the season, shutting out Salem-Cambridge 7-0 Friday in Adirondack-Wasaren League action. Granville has outscored opponents 14-0 in its first two games.
Salem-Cambridge is usually one of the Golden Horde’s most challenging opponents, but not on this day. Granville jumped out to a commanding 3-0 first quarter lead and was never challenged.
Mackenzie Martell, Claire Gould, and Melissa Beaver scored goals in the first quarter. Barber and Alyssa Martindale picked up assists.
Granville increased its advantage to 6-0 before the half. Beaver, McKnight and Barber tallied goals in the second period. Gould, Caroline Baker, and Lillian Baker assisted.
Lillian Baker closed out the scoring with a fourth quarter goal off an assist from Megan Hover.
Not to be outdone, the Golden Horde defense and goalie Megan Decker recorded their second consecutive shutout. Decker was not forced to make a save.
“Very proud of how the team is coming together,” said Granville coach Katie Barber.
Brailyn Wright finished with 21 saves for Salem-Cambridge.
Granville outshot Salem-Cambridge 29-0.
Granville moved to 1-0, 2-0 with the win. Salem-Cambridge fell to 0-2, 0-2.