Quince Orchard's Emily Ellenberger hasn't had any trouble finding the back of the cage this season, but she showed she still can use some direction from her coach in yesterday's Montgomery County nondivision field hockey game against Whitman.
"You're standing around watching," Coach Jenna Ries shouted to her junior forward from the sideline during the first half.
An animated pep talk from Ries during a timeout followed, and Ellenberger took heed to her coach's words, scoring twice and adding an assist yesterday as No. 6 Quince Orchard defeated the visiting Vikings, 4-0.
"If she's not yelling at you, something is wrong," Ellenberger said of Ries. "You'd rather have her saying something than nothing at all. It helps to always hear her and just having her let you know what your surroundings are."
When it comes to Ellenberger, there has been plenty to shout about this season. She broke the school's single-season scoring record of 17 goals against Watkins Mill on Sept. 29, and now has 22 for the season.
But Ellenberger needed to come through yesterday in a game that was a chance for Quince Orchard distinguish itself among the best teams in Class 4A. The Cougars (11-1) had outscored opponents 58-6 heading into the game, and Ries wanted to see how her team would respond as the playoffs loom.
"You get so few opportunities on the schedule to make a statement and show that you progressed," Ries said. "This is what we're looking to do. We have a strong team, we're looking to prepare for a state championship and we're looking to be the best."
The game added to a frustrating offensive stretch for Whitman (7-3). The Vikings lost to No. 5 Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 1-0, last Thursday and had opportunities near the cage yesterday but were stopped by goalkeeper Kelsey Flickenger, who earned her seventh shutout of the season.
"We just had a bad afternoon. I don't know how else to say it," Whitman Coach Mary Pat Veihmeyer said. The Whitman players "were out of whack and I don't know why. I just think it's a mental thing and they have to snap out of it. They know what to do and they're not doing it."