A new mind-set for Gwynedd-Mercy field hockey

Posted: October 01, 2012

After Gwynedd-Mercy's 3-1 victory Friday over longtime nemesis Mount St. Joseph, Gwynedd coach Sue Persichetti spoke about the state of the rivalry.

When she came to Gwynedd as an assistant coach last year, Persichetti said, she had absolutely no knowledge of the depth of the rivalry. And she didn't like the idea that her players thought they couldn't beat Mount for the first time in at least 12 years.

"We're going to work and fight as hard as we can, and we're going to beat them because we earned it," Persichetti said. "So stop thinking about 'poor me' because we [had] never won."

It took the whole season, including a 5-4 loss to Mount early on, to get that across to her team, she said.

"I came in fresh without that mind-set, so I tried to get them on my mind-set," she said.

Persichetti said she is immune to the losing mind-set because, before joining Gwynedd, she coached at St. Helena, a Catholic grade school that feeds both Gwynedd and Mount. She also coached a number of players from both schools at camps she ran in the summers.

"I lost a lot of girls from other schools to Mount," she said. "Now all of a sudden we have a nice relationship, where before it was kind of hateful and no one spoke to each other."

After Friday's game, the coaches from both sides hugged, and Persichetti did a lap around the field hugging parents from Gwynedd and Mount alike. Even though things have turned friendly, Persichetti's team is still tough.

"We're done with acting like wimpy girls who have lost to Mount," she said.

O'Hara not untested. Cardinal O'Hara cruised to another shutout victory Friday afternoon, its fifth of the season and second in a row. The Lions beat Marple Newtown, 3-0.

While Grace Boston and Marissa Cicione have been leading the offensive charge - O'Hara has averaged nearly six goals per game this season - the defense has been rock steady. But have they been tested?

Only Germantown Academy has scored more than one goal against the Lions, and games go by in which O'Hara hardly allows its opponent to cross midfield. But coach Marie Murphy asserts that her defense gets plenty of tests - in practice.

"The good thing is that in practice they have to compete with Grace and Carlie [Spaeder], so they definitely do see competition. If it's not during the game, it's definitely at practice," Murphy said. "Our defense is really pretty solid between Lauren DelRomano and Gabby Rowe. I like to consider them our walls. . . . They're always ready."

Notre Dame gets it done. In a crucial Inter-Ac League matchup Friday, Notre Dame overcame Agnes Irwin, 5-2.

Junior Moira Putsch got things going early for Notre Dame with two goals and an assist in the first half. She added another goal in the second half for a hat trick, and senior Nina Diamond found the back of the cage twice. It was the defender's second two-goal game of the season for the Irish.

Notre Dame sits a game behind Episcopal, the only team that's beaten them this season. Agnes Irwin has yet to play Episcopal and has two losses on the season.

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