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ALLENTOWN — When a lot of seniors left through graduation, Jordyn Pepper knew this would be her time to take a step forward.
So, the Robbinsville field hockey junior spent the offseason working on her game and it shows when she’s on the field.
Pepper scored both goals as Robbinsville edged a very gritty Allentown, 2-1, in a Colonial Valley Conference Valley Division game played on the Redbirds turf in a game that ended in a light rain.
Pepper got the game winner as time was running out in the second period and then the Ravens defense was put to the test in the final two periods and responded.
The Ravens, who are atop the Valley Division, improved to 5-0 and Allentown drops to 1-4.
“I have been working really hard in the offseason,’’ said Pepper. “I knew a lot of seniors graduated and I knew someone was going to have to step up.
Pepper now has 11 goals for the Ravens. The first goal was assisted by Abby Moir.
The Redbirds, who are very young didn’t make it easy for the Ravens, kept the pressure on the cage most of the second half.
“We are really fortunate that we have a lot of players that have experience before they got to high school,’’ said Allentown coach Dana Schleider. “Now we are working to turn it into Allentown hockey.’’
Delaney Nolan caged the lone Allentown goal at the 5-12 mark of the second quarter. Brooke Kuey assisted.
Pepper’s game winner came off her favorite shot.
“I bobbled that a little bit, but I was able to get it back,’’ stated Pepper. “Then I went to my reverse and that’s my favorite shot.’’
The play of Pepper and the Ravens has been impressive up and down the field in the early going.
“I like that we played smart,’’ said Ravens coach JennaMarie Colicchia. “We needed to play a possession game. Once we were able to connect the sticks we were getting momentum behind the ball.’’
One of the things that has made the Ravens so strong in the early stages of the season is their versatility.
“We have so many different people playing different spots every game that it takes a second or two to get adjusted,’’ said Colicchia. “But once we get into a groove they are very good at finding each other. It’s just a matter of finding the right spots each game.’’
It has definitely been a great start to the season for the Ravens and Pepper’s off season work is paying off.
The Redbirds are young, but they are a team improving every game and their senior leadership and talent will begin to show.
Robbinsville (5-0) 0 2 0 0 – 2
Allentown (1-4) 0 1 0 0 – 1
Goals: R: Pepper 2, A: Nolan
Assists: R: Moir. A: Kuey
Shots: R: 11, A: 7. Saves: R: Schwartz 6, A: Elefante 9.
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