Villa Maria's veteran field hockey coach Maurene Polley upset by tourney loss to Crestwood

Villa Maria's field hockey team shows its disappointment after receiving second-place medals from coach Maurene Polley (right). Villa lost to Crestwood, 1-0, in the Class AA final on Saturday.
Villa Maria's field hockey team shows its disappointment after receiving second-place medals from coach Maurene Polley (right). Villa lost to Crestwood, 1-0, in the Class AA final on Saturday. (LOU RABITO / Staff)
Posted: November 21, 2012

Villa Maria field hockey coach Maurene Polley was visibly upset on Saturday after her team's 1-0 loss to Crestwood in the PIAA Class AA final.

Polley felt that her team had not stepped up and that not everyone had done the job that was necessary to win the game.

"You've got to play big in big games," she repeated several times throughout postgame interviews in Whitehall as Crestwood celebrated nearby.

A relatively young Villa Maria team surprised a lot of people and even itself this season after losing many key players to graduation, but it did not play up to Polley's expectations in the final.

In reference to the spectacular play of senior defender Olivia Bolles, who is headed to Connecticut in the fall, Polley expressed frustration over Bolles having to take on the roles of other players, especially offensively.

"She shouldn't have to carry the ball down the field - that's the job of the forward," Polley said. "You've got to do your job. It's that simple. . . . Whatever your job is, then you've got to do it. If you're a scorer, then you've got to put the ball in the goal cage. It's that simple. I don't know what else to say."

Although Polley fumed about a lack of offensive production - the Hurricanes scored nine goals in the state tourney - she said her defense and sophomore goalkeeper Erika Miller played well.

"Our defense was very resilient this year and hung in there," Polley said.

The 43-year coaching veteran was even more impressed by Miller's play, in the final and throughout the season.

"She's come up huge, definitely," Polley said of the first-year starter. "She did not expect to be playing this year . . . and with losing our goalkeeper to a move, that was a big burden on [Miller] - replacing a goalkeeper that was excellent. She's done a good job."

The close defeat was tough for the players to swallow.

"Because it was a one-goal game, this shows that we could have won," Bolles said. "There were certain things [such as] not running to the ball . . . that we didn't do."

Villa Maria is not a program that loses often, so no one on the team is happy when it does fall short. But the road to the state final has obstacles along the way and Bolles is happy with how the Hurricanes overcame them.

"At the beginning of the year, we were definitely shaky about how far we could make it because we're such a young team," the cocaptain said. "But I'm really proud of everyone. I feel like we really came together when we needed to."


Contact Megan Soisson at msoisson@philly.com

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