Sapphire Tubbs leads St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes field hockey to 1-0 win over Georgetown Visitation

October 1, 2013

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes Coach Marsha Way learned the mettle of her team in its season-opening win against Holy Cross.

That night, Ellie Carson scored twice in the final three minutes to erase a one-goal deficit and lift the No. 7 Saints to victory.

“It’s that kind of stuff that tells me, they might be down for a little while, but they’re gonna come back,” Way said.

But Saints senior Sapphire Tubbs culled the most from her team’s only two defeats to date.

In back-to-back losses to Collegiate and St. Anne’s-Belfield last week, Tubbs carefully noted her opponents’ aggressive and calculated ball movement.

“They had strong back passes and they weren’t afraid to use them,” Tubbs said.

Tuesday against Independent School League rivals Georgetown Visitation, the Saints implemented some similarly confident feeds to beat the Cubs, 1-0, in Alexandria.

Tubbs’s first-half goal was all St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (9-2, 3-0 ISL) needed. She had three good chances in the first half, including a clean look off a slot pass from Carson with 11:30 left before the break. She didn’t connect but vowed to bury her next shot.

“The next chance that I had I was going to get it in,” Tubbs said. “That first miss, I should’ve had the goal.”

“She was just a tad off,” Way said of Tubbs. “Believe me, she’s going to get a few more of them.”

Tubbs finally got the Saints on the board in a scrum with 9:33 to play in the half.

Aside from the lone goal, Visitation freshman goalie Grace Brightbill capably shut down the Saints with 12 saves.

“You can’t let it get you down,” Tubbs said about facing a scalding netminder. “You have to just keep going at it over and over and over again, and know that at some point it’s going to go in.”

The Cubs (6-2, 4-1) made a frenetic second-half push, gaining eight corners to the Saints’ four during the final 30 minutes. But Saints’ flyer Sophie Davidson congested Visitation’s shooting lanes every time.

“We just had to hold them out for the last three minutes and we knew we couldn’t let them get a shot off,” Tubbs said.

The Cubs wore stitched patches with the initials “MLG” to honor Mary Lacey Gilbride, a former Visitation student and assistant hockey coach. Gilbride — a 2008 girls’ lacrosse All-Met — died on Sept. 18.

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