The Davis High girls field hockey team started with a bang and finished with another in its 2-0 victory over Bella Vista on Monday.
Even in between, the Blue Devils were making noise at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium — often colliding sticks with the aggressive Broncos to keep them out of their circle.
And the DHS squad succeeded in doing just that, securing another shutout win to bump its record up to 5-1.
As for what got the crowd roaring early on in their battle with Bella Vista: Devil senior Elizabeth Leshuk smacked the ball into goal loud enough to hear an audible thump within the first six minutes.
It was one of five earnest shots on the goal that would come in the first half, a figure Davis coach Sandie Marotti-Huckins saw as evidence of a squad that’s stepping up offensively.
“We weren’t always able to finish,” she said after Monday’s contest, “but we did a much better job of bringing the ball to the circle, and getting shots off, than we’ve been doing.”
But the BV defense never made it easy for the Blue Devils, even as midfielders Kelly Ragsdale and Natalie Silver scooted forward to assist with attacks.
Though DHS held possession of the ball for a majority of the game, Bella Vista impeded advances on its goal well enough to keep it at 1-0 for a long stretch.
But Chelsey Nickell, who Marotti-Huckins noted as a standout player after the match’s conclusion, never let the Broncos get far the other direction themselves.
The local defender picked up any of the balls that got through the midfield, and numerous times carried it back for the offense to go on a cheer-inducing breakaway.
Andi Jackson and other Devils assisted in that defense, which kept things silent on the Davis side of the field until well into the second period.
It was with four minutes left on the clock that Silver — following up on a corner shot — was able to send the ball past Bella Vista’s goalie for another DHS tally.
This put the Broncos into a frenzied race for a last-minute goal, a charge that Nickell and Co. were once again successful in preventing from reaching Blue Devil goalie Ally Weir.
With the win under their belt, the local girls hit the road Friday for a match at St. Ignatius.
— Reach Brett Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett.