Preppers’ attack hits Hawks hard in 19-3 win – News-Herald

Preston Blue looks for a pass in the Preppers game against Hawken. (Ben Hercik – The News-Herald)

After the first faceoff, University was in control against Hawken on April 4 at Scovil Field.

An early run put the Preppers ahead to stay.

With a strong mix on the offensive end, the Preppers recorded the win, 19-3, to continue their undefeated start to the season as University moved to 3-0 on the season.

The early success came from the mix of the group on the offensive end. Ten players found the back of the net, with Charlie Feeder at the helm with five goals.

Fast starts have been a common theme for University this season and Feeder kept to that theme with four of his goals in the first half.

“That’s what we want to do in every single game,” Feeder said. “We want to set the tone and continue to build off of it.”

Another advantage for the Preppers came from their control of ground balls. Multiple times University got the ball at the top of Hawken’s offensive formation and broke quickly to the goal.

A couple of passes later, and the ball was in the goal. They also had a lot of quick shots after a win in the faceoff circle.

Speed and quick attacks is something Coach Hans Rydquist and his staff emphasized during the offseason.

“It’s been stick work and clearing efficiency that’s been our goals for the season,” Rydquist said. “One thing that has been big has been our pressure rides, and that helps create those ground balls. Making turnovers helps us a lot with those goals.”

While the speed and quick striking was the focus for the Preppers, they also needed a strong ball distributor. For that, they turned to Preston Blue.

The junior finished the game with five assists to go with his four goals as well.

Having an equal hand in both parts of the offensive game plan is something he knew was going to be important if the Preppers wanted to continue their undefeated start to the season.

“We had our heads up all game long,” Blue said. “When you play like that and have the strong passing game like we do it, allows us to have easier goals and run through plays.”

While the offense got the score in their favor early, the defense kept the chances Hawken saw on goal very limited. In their three games this season, the Preppers have only conceded 10 goals.

Led by the duo of Magnus Holubar and Max Salisbury between the pipes, Rydquist has been impressed with the way a lot of the new, younger players have approached the game this season.

“Defense has been our biggest place of improvement,” Rydquist said. “We graduated all our starters from a season ago, and to have people step into those roles was a big unknown, but to see how they answered that so far has been very impressive for us so far. They’ve committed, worked on their stick skills and we even saw some players switch to defense to have an impact.”

Hawken got a pair of goals from Matt McCormac as well as Ryan Solganik, with the latter being their lone first-half goal.

Hawken looks to recover when it hosts CVCA on April 6. University looks to keep its undefeated start going when it travels to Kent Roosevelt on the same date.

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