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Hillers enjoy fast start in tournament opening win

Advance to meet No. 1 Cape next

12:29 AM, Nov. 10, 2012 EST

Brandywine's Erin Courtney (left) and Tower Hill's Kendal Robino fight for the ball in Friday's game. / JENNIFER CORBETT/THE NEWS JOURNAL


Tower Hill utilized a successful blend of young and old in its DIAA Field Hockey State Tournament opener.

Outstanding play by senior Jenna Chodos and freshman Sophie Peipher led the Hillers to a dominant 4-1 victory over ninth-seeded Brandywine at Richardson Field on Friday.

No. 8-seed Tower Hill advances to face top-seed Cape Henlopen in the next round, at a site and time to be determined.

"Because of the rain delay we really had time to pump each other up," Chodos said of the postponed matchup that was originally set for Wednesday. "We really knew that we wanted to come out strong, score right away and then just hold that confidence."

The Hillers (11-3-2) didn't waste much time setting the tone. Peipher sneaked in a goal when she was surrounded by a crowd of Bulldogs defenders and teammates five minutes into the match.

"We stepped up really nicely and moved beautifully. That was key in the first half," said Tower Hill coach Robin Adair. "We were very excited to be seeded high enough to host. My kids love this field, as do I, and they were very excited to get one more game on their home field."

Chodos, the Hillers' captain, added more pressure to the Bulldogs after she scored back-to-back goals off Peipher's assists to extend the lead 3-0 by the half.

"I'm especially happy that it's not over, and we're just going to keep coming out like we did today," Chodos said.

Brandwine (12-1-3), the Blue Hen Flight B champions, went into the match unbeaten and didn't go down without a fight. Senior Caitlin Moloney hit the ball straight upfield to forward Erin Courtney, who knocked in the Bulldogs' lone goal early in the second half.

"I'm very happy that we had a great season," said Brandywine coach Willy Miranda. "I'm glad we got to play Tower Hill because they are a legitimate team, and it's better to play on turf."

Peipher added some insurancee when she tipped in the final goal after receiving a pass from Kendal Robino with 16 minutes remaining.



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