EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — A 5-3 loss on Saturday to Middle Township might have been a good thing for the Egg Harbor Township field hockey team. It gave new head coach Kristi Troster a chance to explain to her team some of the things they needed to work on this week.

The Eagles straightened things out with a win over Bridgeton on Monday, then kept the momentum rolling on Tuesday night, building a 5-0 lead on Absegami before winning 5-2 to improve to 3-1.

Senior captain Ally Arabio got things started by scoring in the eighth minute and Bri Lagroteria added a goal seven minutes later as the Eagles built a 2-0 lead. Absegami played tough defense however, and trailed by just two goals at halftime. Goalkeeper Alyssa DeStefano kept the Braves in the game, finishing with 13 saves.

"We played pretty well tonight. We had some subs come in at the end of the game because I want to get a lot of kids some varsity experience this year because we have a lot of solid seniors. But we started to fix some things defensively that we needed to fix and that were exposed during the loss to Middle Township," Troster said. "The kids are starting to come along with stick-to-stick passing, and those are some of the things that hurt us against Middle, because they had a couple of really athletic kids in the middle. As we begin to use the sidelines more we're going to be more successful."

Egg Harbor Township dominated midfield play, as Erin Hogan finished with three assists and Angelica Dagit scored a pair of goals in the second half. Lagroteria finished with two goals as well, and Gianna Cordivari added an assist. Lagroteria's second goal came five minutes into the second half and made it 3-0, and Dagit scored twice within a five-minute span to stretch the lead to 5-0. Lauren Houf scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes for the Braves.

"I think we are playing a lot better as a team. We have a new coach this season, so we're trying to work out all the communication, and we're learning a lot from her. I think we learned that we have to hustle after every single loose ball, and we can't take anything for granted. If we see the space, we have to go for it," Arabio said. "Yesterday we had a game, and we used that game to spread ourselves out a little more because we were on turf. We were connecting on our passes and not making them so long."

Troster said she was impressed with Dagit's effort, and the combination of Dagit and Hogan playing well in the middle makes the Eagles tough to defend.

"She's coming into her own. With Erin behind her and supporting her, it allows her to do some things maybe she wouldn't do if that support wasn't behind her," Troster said. "Erin and her are really starting to work well with one another, and that's going to be great for us moving forward. That's probably the best game she's played so far this year."

The Eagles face Millville on Friday, then have a brutal week next week when they travel to Ocean City, return home for a game against Mainland, then go on the road again to Clearview. Troster said she's hoping Saturday's loss to Middle will turn out to be a blessing.

"It helps us because if you can figure out what the problems were and you can fix them; the problems that (Middle) exposed were fixable things and we just went to work on fixing a few of them at a time," Troster said.

"We're confident, but we're also keeping ourselves grounded," Arabio said. "Like, tomorrow we've already been told we have a running practice. We don't play again until Friday, so tomorrow we're going to run and work ourselves out so that we're ready for more tough games to come."

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