Apr. 8—A siren blared and the scoreboard clock read 0.0, but the third quarter of Wednesday’s Oakdale-Middletown field hockey game wasn’t over yet.
Play was extended so the Bears could complete a penalty corner.
Oakdale’s Kiersten Hoffmann would get another chance to insert the ball to Sam Mogar, who would then get another chance to unleash a wickedly hard, corner-bound shot from just inside the circle.
Performing those very duties, Hoffmann and Mogar had already collaborated on a pair of goals Wednesday, and they did so again at the end of the third period.
After getting the ball from Hoffmann and taking a step just inside the circle, Mogar smacked a shot into the cage for the game’s final goal as the host Bears rolled to a 7-1 win.
After ranking as one of Frederick County’s top scorers earlier in her career, Mogar was moved back to help bolster Oakdale’s defense and kick-start the offense with her powerful drives. But the offense utilizes her power in other ways, too.
“We have her more in a defensive role, but her stepping up on some of these corners, she’s got a phenomenal, hard shot,” Bears coach Kaitlyn Dudley said. “It doesn’t always work. But when it does, it is on point.”
A longtime softball and soccer player before she gave field hockey a try shortly before arriving at Oakdale, Mogar wasted little time learning how to strike the ball with authority.
“That was the first thing my coach had taught me how to do,” said Mogar, recalling when she played in an elite Howard County league as an eighth grader.
“Her shots are great,” Hoffmann said. “She hits them really hard and into the corners, which is super important.”
Hoffmann’s ability to insert the ball on penalty corners also looms large.
“I always use a push pass, I think it’s important to get the ball out to Sam quickly and smoothly so it doesn’t take her a lot of time to set it up,” Hoffmann said. “And I think having that flow and being fluent with it really helps for her to get that ball in.”
Those two teamed up to score a goal in Oakdale’s huge win over previously unbeaten Urbana earlier this season. And as Mogar pointed out, others are ready to pounce if she fails to score on such plays.
“I know I have teammates on the other side of the post and I have someone up top to always receive it, to get those rebounds. We can get those shots that way, too,” Mogar said. “It’s just as good as getting the initial goal.”
While it didn’t come on a corner, the game’s first goal came on a second chance. Hoffmann smacked in a rebound after Middletown goalie Clara Stamper blocked Allison Grunwell’s shot.
Like Mogar and Grunwell, Hoffmann was a key player for a Bears team that reached the 2019 Class 2A state championship game.
“Kiersten’s up there both in assists and points,” Dudley said. “Sienna Carey is turning out to be a huge game-changer for us, and she’s had quite a few goals this season as well.”
The emergence of players like Carey is an indication of how the 6-1 Bears, whose lone loss came to Linganore, have improved on an already strong team as the weeks progressed.
“We look so much better now,” Dudley said. “The chemistry, the teamwork, on and off the field has just been phenomenal.”
Makenzie Kuninger, Grunwell and Ally Rice each had one goal for Oakdale. Rice had one assist.
Middletown’s Julia Harris scored off a penalty corner in the second quarter.
The JV game ended in a 1-1 tie.