Long Reach didn't lose yesterday to visiting River Hill, but it felt that way to the ninth-ranked Lightning.
"It's not a loss, but it doesn't help us," said Long Reach coach Kelly Snyder after her team battled the Hawks to a 1-1 tie after 80 minutes. "This could hurt us later [in the season] because it's a very competitive league."
In its fourth year, Long Reach (3-1-1 overall, 0-0-1 league) believes it has the personnel to capture the Howard County title. This was not the way it planned to open the county schedule.
"We want to be first in the county, and this didn't help," said senior Jessica Burkhardt.
"It's disappointing because it was our first county game and we wanted to walk off our field with a win."
River Hill, which lost 2-1 to the Lightning earlier this month in the consolation game of the River Hill tournament, took yesterday's result a little better.
"Long Reach is ranked No. 9. This shows we're ready to step up," said River Hill goalie Shannon Hadley, who stopped a penalty stroke with 3: 14 left in the second overtime.
"Obviously, we would have liked to have beaten them, but I'm content with a tie rather than a loss," said River Hill coach Martha Henderson, whose team had scored 10 goals in its last two games.
"I think we looked a little less energetic than the last two games, but some of the credit goes to Long Reach, because their intensity takes some energy from you."
The Hawks (2-3-1, 1-0-1) looked their best in the first half, and took a 1-0 lead with 6: 30 left when Erika Hyrowski scored off a perfect pass from Lindsey Startt.
Startt fired the pass from the upper right side of the circle and found Hyrowski, who had inside position against her defender, to the left of the cage.
"It was a good pass and I was ready for it," said Hyrowski.
The Lightning tied the game with 16: 34 left in regulation when Sherry Epperson, who was called up from the JV on Monday, redirected a free hit from Bridgette Burkhardt into the cage.
"I saw it coming across and I just put out my stick and it bounced off it," said Epperson."
The goal energized Long Reach and it controlled most of the remaining play in regulation.
Brandi Franks had two quality shots on goal for Long Reach in the first overtime, but Hadley was equal to the task. River Hill got one shot off, but Amanda Bile's effort was wide.
In the second overtime, Alexis Matuesawitch's point-blank shot ended up stuck between Hadley's shoe and padding and the officials awarded Long Reach a penalty stroke.
Sophomore Shelby Orndoff took the shot for the Lightning, but the 5-foot-2 Hadley stopped it in the air with her glove.
"I was a little nervous, but not to the point where I was shaking," Hadley said. "I had an inkling where she was going just by the way she angled her hips and her stick."
Snyder was pleased that her team improved in the second half, but wondered why it took so long.
"It was frustrating," said Snyder, who got another solid performance from goalie Jaye Lance. "We played 30 minutes weak and 30 minutes strong."
Burkhardt agreed. "We wasted the first half," she said. "The lesson we learned from this is that we need to somehow find whatever we do in the second half in the first half."
Pub Date: 9/29/99