Knights hope to take advantage of karma against Tuscarora

The Knights Seniors’ have been plagued by plateauing playoff performances. Can they exercise their demons on Senior Night before a final playoff push.

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Photo by Jack Littrell

The Knights during their Breast Cancer Awareness game vs. TJ

For a group of seniors that has seen their past three seasons all end at the same spot, the feeling among the players on the Middletown High School Knights Varsity Field Hockey team is that this year something would have to change.

The cards would have to be in their favor and karma would end up giving them a boost, was the prevailing feeling among the members of the team.

Add in more similarities from the past three years and it would be easy to understand that there was a feeling that history could not repeat itself again.

In the past three years, the Knights had gotten stuck at the same spot losing in the regional semifinals of the 2A State Championship.

And for the most part, the Knights losing was not by mistakes of their own but by an event of chance such as a missed call going against the Knights and shaping the course of the game.

In 2010, it was exactly that as a stick violation against Middletown, led to a corner for the Century High School Knights.

That corner would result in a goal for Century as a scramble beneath the goal led to a bouncing ball being poked into the back of the net.

Century would go on to win the game 1-0 and carry that momentum all the way to a berth in the 2A State Championship, albeit losing in the championship game.

2011 would hold much of the same for Middletown as in a game against Poolesville on Halloween, the Knights had to play on a field that was slow and wet due to heavy rains the past couple days.

This would have an effect on the Knights as they could not operate their fast-paced offense as they had planned, and would lose to Poolesville 1-0.

Poolesville would follow suit as they would move all the way to the 2A State Championship game, losing in the final.

The Knights would hit their bad luck limit in 2012, as seemingly everything that could go wrong for the Knights did go wrong in their 2A West Regional Semifinal matchup versus the Damascus High School Hornets.

The game had to be moved up early because of a problem with field availability and Damascus would arrive at the field around 1:50 P.M. almost two and a half hours before game time and almost half an hour before the MHS school day would end.

The bad luck would continue as the game went on as a green card (similar to a yellow card) was given to then MHS forward Blake Gastley on a questionable call giving Damascus all the momentum they needed to take down the Knights 3-0.

The feeling that the Knights could overcome the bad luck was used as motivation for the Knights found in all sorts of ways including their team saying; #ourtime.

“Our team mottoes mean a lot to us, and #ourtime is really open ended so it can apply to any game,” said Middletown senior Abbey Provost. “It’s our time to win, to play our best, simply our time to be Middletown field hockey.”

It will be a special night for Middletown when they take on the Tuscarora High School Titans on Wednesday, as it will be their Senior Night, a chance to honor the seniors and a chance for the seniors to take out 3 years of frustration before heading into playoffs.

As with any Senior Night there will be lots of emotions in the air for the home team, but the Knights (4-7) will have to keep them in check if they want to defeat the Titans (4-7) who come into this game with positive momentum after winning two straight.

“The ceremonies will be emotional, this team means the world to me,” said Provost. “I think the emotions will be the driving force behind our team tonight. We play with heart.”

The Titans are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season having defeated Walkersville 2-1, and taking down Frederick 2-0.

The Knights will look to attack a Titans team that has given up 29 goals over 11 games and has had trouble on defense all throughout the year with Tuscarora goalkeeper Bethany Mangold averaging over 10 saves per game.

Even though it will be on Senior Night, the two players with a chance to make the most impact will be two underclassmen who have proved to be vital parts of the Knights offense.

Middletown sophomore Emily Delauter has 8 goals this season including a hat trick in Monday’s game against the Governor Thomas Johnson High School Patriots and has been a stabilizing force up front.

Her partner-in-crime is MHS junior Samantha Breeze who has 6 goals this season and, combined with Delauter, has created a youthful 1-2 punch that has given the Knights life this season.

Even though some of the Knights’ seniors might have the unpleasant memory of playoff defeats past in their heads, the focus clearly appears to be on the Titans and the looming playoffs that come behind it.

“This is a special team on and off the field, and I can’t wait to kill it on Senior Night,” said Provost.

The Middletown Knights JV Field Hockey team will look to cap their season off on a winning note when they take on the Tuscarora High School Titans at 5:30 p.m. at Knights Field at Middletown High School.

The Knights (5-2-3) come into this game having not lost in their past 8 games, with the last loss coming as a 2-0 defeat to the Westminster High School Owls on September 17th in just the 3rd game of the season.

The Knights will be in a difficult spot as the only goaltender on their team, MHS freshman Madeline Hillsman will not be available to play because of a prior commitment.

The Knights do not have another goaltender on their team and while the starter for Monday’s game is not known, the prevalent theory seems to be that the start will go to Knights freshman Hannah Truitt who had seen game time in goal before while playing for a club tem while she was in 8th grade.

The Knights will look to take some of the burden off the shoulders of whoever is in net for the Knights by using an offense that has scored an average of 2.4 goals per game and relieve some of the stress on a defense that has already recorded 8 shutouts over 10 games this season.

The Knights defense has been more than exceptional as they have only allowed .6 goals per game this season and has used a combination of strength, speed, and an extra set of eyes between the pipes in Hillsman to help stop opponents in their tracks.

It is unknown whether any of the JV players will get called up to Varsity after the game but if there will be one called up it will be Hillsman would provide much needed depth to the only goaltender on the Varsity team, sophomore Emma Provost.