Sometimes, we all need a little luck, and the No. 11 Patterson Mill Huskies found that luck, Tuesday, when they beat the No. 14 Bel Air Bobcats in field hockey, 2-1, in overtime.
After coming back to tie the game, 1-1, in the second half with a goal from senior Danielle Nguyen, the Huskies (7-2-2, 3-1-1) applied the pressure on the Bobcats (8-3, 2-2-0) in the first overtime period with two quick corners and a long hit possession.
But those plays wouldn’t matter much, because it ended up being a lifted-reverse shot from Patterson Mill junior Emily Keesling that crept over the Bel Air goalie’s head and ultimately decide the game for the Huskies.
“It was a reverse shot and I didn’t really even mean to shoot it,” Keesling admitted of her final goal. “I kind of went to pass it and lifted it, and it went in.”
The goal ended a match in which the Bobcats held the only lead for 16 minutes of the game, coming from a goal with just 44 seconds remaining in the first half.
Lacing a shot toward Husky goalie Gabby Brooks, Bel Air senior Jordan Vazquez forced Brooks to deflect the ball for a save, and, after Brooks made another diving stop, it was senior Abby Dempsey who would scored the 1-0 momentum changer just before the end of the half.
“I had to stay on my toes a lot more this game and not go down as much,” said Brooks, who recorded eight saves in the Senior Day performance. “Since they had more people, they were more easily able to get a rebound off me. I had to keep on my toes, keep my eyes open and keep my defense talking.”
The Bobcats played neck and neck with the Huskies for the entire game, staying relatively close in shots on goal and corners, and it was two terrific defensive showings that allowed both teams a shot at an overtime-win.
Fighting push after push from the Bel Air offense in the first half, junior Lauren West and sophomore Ronelle Bautista helped Patterson Mill’s young defense hold the Bobcats to just three shots in the second half, while Bel Air’s seniors Ali Petrone and Lisa Noll did likewise.
“They gave it everything,” Huskies’ head coach Shannon Troyer said. “You could tell that they were determined to win this game, and when they go out on the field with that mindset, there is just no stopping them.”
The win means a lot in the UCBAC’s Chesapeake Division, where Bel Air and Patterson Mill were among the top contenders for the division title. But after the Patterson Mill win, it is likely that the Huskies will be able to claim their achievement with one more win.
“We have one more game tomorrow, and that ends the regular season,” Troyer said. “It could really give us the title of the upper division if we win, and that says a lot for the team and how hard we worked all season.”
While both the Huskies and the Bobcats share losses with UCBAC rival Rising Sun, Patterson Mill now has the head-to-head advantage over Bel Air and is the only team to have just one in-conference loss on its record.
Patterson Mill will need to pull off a win against their next opponent, Bo Manor, if they wish to be crowned the UCABC’s Chesapeake Division champions.
“We just have to come out strong tomorrow like we did today, and determined,” said Troyer.
Bel Air also has one more game, facing No. 18 Fallston at home in a Thursday night game.
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Patterson Mill 2, Bel Air 1–OT
BA 1 0 – 0 — 1
PM 0 1 – 1 — 2
Goals: PM- Nguyen, Keesling; BA-Dempsey
Saves: PM- Brooks 8; BA- Ciulla 2