LITCHFIELD — Winthrop field hockey coach Jess Merrill wasn’t sure how her team would respond in its Class C showdown against Oak Hill on Friday after playing an energy-sapping scoreless tie the day before.

Not to worry. The Ramblers came out strong and maintained their intensity against an aggressive Raiders team that had shut them out earlier this season.

Freshman Katie Perkins scored a pair of goals and senior Julie McConnell added another in Winthrop’s 3-1 victory. Freshman Zoe Buteau scored for Oak Hill.

Winthrop improved to 7-3-1 with just three games remaining in the regular season. Oak Hill, which dropped its third straight game, fell to 7-4-0.

This was no two-goal cakewalk. Perkins scored her second goal as the final horn sounded and the outcome was in doubt to that point.

“It means a lot,” Winthrop junior Sarah Spahr said of the victory. “They’re a very good team and they’re worth a lot of (Heal) points.”


Spahr assisted on the first two Winthrop goals with long crossing passes from the right side.

“She was one of the inners to start the game but we moved her to the right side,” Merrill said. “She was able to carry the ball by some girls with authority. She is really strong.”

The game was statistically even. Winthrop held a 16-12 edge in shots while the Raiders had a 10-6 advantage in penalty corners. Winthrop goalie Corinna Coulton made seven saves while Oak Hill’s Abby Fuller recorded five.

“We’re playing well, some of it not bouncing our way,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “The girls played phenomenal tonight. They played with all heart and soul.”

With just over 20 minutes gone in the first half, the Ramblers got on the board following a penalty corner. Perkins put the ball in play and received a return pass from Spahr for the score.

“It was designed to go to the post and I was supposed to tap it in,” Perkins said.


It was the first time that particular play worked for the Ramblers this season. The half ended with the Ramblers up 1-0 but it could have easily been 2-0 if not for a defensive clear by Lexi Fuller, who dropped down into the goalmouth after a shot drew Fuller out of position.

The Ramblers took a 2-0 lead just over eight minutes into the second half as Spahr dribbled along the end line and crossed the ball to McConnell for her first goal of the season.

“The goalie kicked it and she kind of fell on the ground and I went for it,” McConnell said.”I was wide open so I flicked it up and it went in.”

Midway through the half, Buteau cut the lead in half when she put a penalty corner into play, stepped onto the field and fired a long hard shot through a maze of players into the back of the cage.

Perkins second goal came as the game ended following a pass from Emily Molino.

“I really didn’t know what to expect, playing a double overtime against St. Dom’s yesterday,” Merrill said. “We’ve been working on our positioning and our intensity and it’s finally starting to jell. I’m excited.”

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