Clinton shuts out Camden to win field hockey season-opener

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CAMDEN — The Clinton girls field hockey team scored a little measure of revenge on Monday night, Oct. 5, with a season-opening victory over defending Section III Class C champion Camden, 1-0 on senior night for the Blue Devils.

Camden had defeated Clinton 4-0 in the 2019 Class C final and 6-0 in the 2018 Class C final, so Monday night’s goal was the first the Warriors have scored against Camden in two years.

The Warriors got off to a fast start, scoring right off of the opening whistle and it proved to be the difference.

Gianna Trunfio took the ball right up the middle of the field and dished it off to Jenna Deep, who put it in the back of the cage 14 seconds into the game.

“That was pretty amazing,” Clinton head coach Miquel Grimm said postgame. “We’ve said that we need to play like we’re down and they did right off the start. It means a lot when you score first. It sets a tone for the game and I think that’s what it did for us. We haven’t scored against them in two years. And that was huge for us.”

After the Clinton goal, Camden controlled the ball in their offensive end for the remainder of the first quarter, but couldn’t find the back of the cage.

Much of the second quarter played out like the first quarter with Camden controlling the ball in the offensive end, but not having anything come of it.

Camden’s best chance of the game came late in the third quarter off of a corner opportunity. In the fourth quarter, both teams went back and forth with Camden having a shot at the end of the game, but again nothing came out of it.

Once the final horn sounded, the Clinton players mobbed each other, celebrating the win over the defending Class C champion.

Clinton goalie Sydney Labayewski made three saves in the win and Abby Henderson made nine saves for Camden.

“I think my girls played a great game,” Grimm said. “They knew the expectations coming in here the last two years. We’ve lost to them so we just needed to come in and work as hard as we can. Whatever the outcome is at the end of the game, that’s what it is.”

“Going into this game, we knew that we had lost in the finals to them two years in a row,” Trunfio said. “And we took that all into this game. It’s our senior year and we really wanted to come out strong. We knew what we had going into this game and we knew we had to work hard to get here.”

“We definitely started the game out back on our heels,” Camden head coach Shannon McPheron said. “They took advantage of that and dribbled it down in 10 seconds or under.”

McPheron added that as the game went on, the Blue Devils played better.

“We didn’t really decide to play field hockey until pretty much the last quarter of that game,” McPheron said.

“Like I told them, it was our first game. We got to get the kinks out as far as finding the right combination out there. The right combinations weren’t out there so we just got to figure that out.”

“We had beaten Clinton the past couple years in finals, so the reaction that they had, I said to my team that this is what teams are going to do when they beat you,” McPheron said. “So take this and see how it feels.”

McPheron said that she’s not disappointed and she’s looking forward. The Blue Devils have that chance on Wednesday, when they hit the road to take on Central Valley Academy at 4:30.

Clinton is back in action on Friday when they host Whitesboro at 4:30.

The Camden seniors that were honored were Erin Meagher, Ashley Hilts, Mackenzie Mix, Emily Walker, Megan Zalepeski, Chloe Hite and Skye Wall. Clinton seniors that were honored were Trunfio, Natalie Hearn, Sydney Evans and Hannah Litz.

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