The North Harford field hockey team is no stranger to overtime, and they took it a step further Monday night in a win over visiting C. Milton Wright.
The Hawks and Mustangs went to a shootout after neither could find the goal in 80 well-played minutes on the damp turf. The Hawks won the shootout, 2-1, sending the Hawks to the Class 2A North Region II final. The defending champion Hawks will play at Sparrows Point on Wednesday for the Class 2A North Region II title.
“I’ve got to give credit to C. Milton Wright, because they played really, really tough tonight. It was totally different from our first game,” Hawks coach Carla Harward said. The Hawks won that game in overtime, 1-0.
Monday, though, the game went through overtime and into the shootout.
Hawks goalie Sarah Reifsnyder made saves on four of the five CMW shooters, while CMW keeper Phoebe Hennessey stopped three.
Claire Burrows, the Mustangs’ second shooter, scored and the Hawks; third shooter, Kendall Fortune, matched it.
Tied at 1, Reifsnyder made two more saves, while Hennessey made one. The Hawks’ final shooter, junior Korynn Sims, sneaked a shot past Hennessey for the winning goal.
“So, being last, I really try to pay attention to how the goalie came out on our players and since she comes out pretty far, to pull quick, but not to pull too late. So, I tried to pull early and once I knew time was running out, I just made sure to get the shot off,” Sims said. “It’s amazing, it really feels like it’s just a whole wash of relief. It’s so stressful building up to that moment and then to win, to win as a team, it takes everybody to get to that one goal and it was just amazing.”
Harward said she was confident heading to the shootout.
“Our goalie knows what to do on 1v1s, so we were very confident going into it,” Harward said. “Strategically, I put Korynn at the end, because she does 1v1s very well. I’m very proud of the girls because they never give up, they play to the end.”
In the second overtime, CMW earned a corner opportunity with 4:30 left. The Mustangs got another corner with three minutes left, but watched a feed from Riley Cushman to Winslow DiPeso slide wide of the goal.
In the first overtime, the Hawks had a flurry of shots with just over two minutes left, but Hennessey was strong. That led to a CMW offensive surge in the final minute and a half, but without a goal. Reifsnyder made a point-blank save with under 30 seconds left and the Hawks had two corners with no time left, but they, too, went empty.
Both teams had corner chances over the first four quarters, but credit both teams’ defense for keeping the game scoreless.
Reifsnyder finished with eight saves, while Hennessey had six.
“We knew coming into this game it was going to be a battle,” Mustangs coach Kelsey Lovelace said. “We just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net at the end of the night and then when it came to our shootouts, some of our girls who normally do put it in the back of the net, they just didn’t convert tonight.”