VVS field hockey topped by Camden

Though others had challenged the Vernon Verona Sherrill field hockey team's place atop the Tri-Valley League, only Camden fully solved the riddle.

And when the two league leaders clashed again Wednesday night, the visiting Red Devils struck first- but the host Blue Devils struck more, leading VVS to a 3-1 defeat.

Camden had won the first encounter on the Red Devils' home field Sept. 24, and VVS was seeking to even things up on Camden's artificial turf on a chilly, winter-like evening.

Early on, each team had chances to pull in front, but VVS gradually picked up its pressure, earning a series of penalty corners and preventing Camden from clearing it out.

This paid off when, midway through the first half, Camden goalie Heidi Deppmeyer could not clear out another penalty corner attempt, allowing the Red Devils' Liz Bush to rip a rebound into the net for a 1-0 advantage.

Sensing the danger, Camden coach Shannon McPheron called a time-out right after Bush scored. Whatever McPheron said seemed to work because, just three minutes later, the Blue Devils' pressure led to a tying goal, Megan Kell emerging from a scramble to slip the ball past VVS goalie Teresa Moats.

It stayed 1-1 until early in the second half. Again, Camden proved efficient as, on its second penalty corner of the night, Kianne Hinkle fed it to Ashley Leabo, who beat Moats for the go-ahead goal.

VVS had most of the good scoring chances on the night, with 10 penalty corners to Camden's four. Yet it could not pull back even, and the Blue Devils sealed the win when Kelcy Forbragd scored with less than two minutes left.

Both teams honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink ribbons and numbers on their jerseys, and also used a pink ball much of the game.

Still with a record of 10-3 (10-2 league), VVS closes the regular season this Wednesday, at Ilion.

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