Shawnee And Eastern Play To A Scoreless Tie In Field Hockey Defenses Dominated The Matchup. Shawnee And Eastern Were 1-2 In The Preseason Rankings.

Posted: September 18, 1994

The top two teams in The Inquirer's preseason field hockey rankings learned more about themselves yesterday than about each other. The key bit of information for top-ranked Shawnee and No. 2 Eastern was that their defenses were way ahead of their offenses.

In a game devoid of virtually any offensive pressure, Shawnee and Eastern settled for a scoreless nonleague tie at Shawnee in a rematch of last fall's South Jersey Group 4 finalists.

Eastern won the group title, 1-0, in the second sudden-death overtime on a goal by the since-graduated Nicole Wilson, who led South Jersey with 39 goals. The loss denied Shawnee an opportunity to win a sixth consecutive state group title.

Yesterday's game was Shawnee's season opener. Eastern, the three-time defending Olympic Conference American Division champion, is now 1-0-1, including a 4-0 beating of No. 8 Bishop Eustace on Friday. Both Shawnee and Eastern are generally expected to meet for a sectional title again this season.

Unlike last year's scintillating playoff game, which featured several good scoring chances for both teams, yesterday's early-season showdown was dominated by defense. Eastern did not get a shot on Renegades goalkeeper Danielle Vile, while Shawnee could generate only three shots on Eastern's Meghann Vitt.

"When you get two teams of this caliber, you expect more scoring, but it was pretty much a defensive game," said Eastern's Jessica Jaworski, the junior wing who is a daughter of former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

"I think this game gives us an idea of what we need to do on offense. Losing Nicole (Wilson) was a big thing for us."

Not even a switch of fields at halftime could wake up the offenses. The game was moved to the adjoining junior-varsity field when a sprinkler system on the varsity field started up during the halftime break.

"It's always disappointing to tie, but we didn't lose, and we felt we controlled the game," said senior sweeper Kelly Griffith, a varsity letter- winner last year when Shawnee went 14-2-5 and won its eighth consecutive Burlington County League Liberty Division title.

"I think both offenses wanted to score so much that both of them became frustrated, which took them out of their games.

"Eastern is one of our biggest competitors, so at least it shows us that we're ready for people like them."

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