Lauren Vint had a grin as wide as could be. Clutching the MVP trophy of the Long Reach Hockeyfest Tournament, the Long Reach senior was a bundle of happiness on two feet.
"I'm thrilled," said Vint. "I wanted this so bad, but I certainly didn't expect it."
Vint, a defender, scored her first-ever goal yesterday off a penalty corner 2:42 into the second overtime period to give host Long Reach a 2-1 victory over Calvert in the tournament championship. Vint controlled the inbound pass from Kerrie Lorch just inside the circle and fired the shot past Calvert goalie Rachel Clagett.
"The defender was on me," Vint said. "I just went low and pushed it. The ball went right between her pads."
The game was a rematch of last season's Class 3A state semifinal that Long Reach won by the identical score.
"It was a tough game," said Long Reach senior Brandi Franks. "We beat them in the states last season, so they were pumped up."
And it doesn't get any easier for the Lightning. They travel to fifth-ranked Fallston on Tuesday. The Cougars lost to Long Reach, 1-0, early last season, but downed the Lightning, 1-0, in the state final that they clearly dominated.
"Our girls are ready to play," said Long Reach coach Kelly Snyder.
Long Reach had entered the River Hill tournament the last two years only to be eliminated in the first round. The Lightning started their own tournament this season, and got three goals from Shelby Orndoff and two from Franks en route to an 8-1 victory over Friends in Friday's opener.
Orndoff gave Long Reach a 1-0 lead eight minutes into yesterday's championship. Calvert (2-1) was awared a stroke four minutes before halftime and Tara Lester successfully converted.
Snyder, who has a young team with five returning starters, said she was "excited to be 2-0."
"We've never won a trophy in a tournament, and that was a goal we met," Snyder said. "And we want to continue the winning tradition that we've established and that was fulfilled."
River Hill tournament
Despite losing two games, first-year River Hill coach Shelly Chamness was impressed by her team.
The Hawks lost to Holton-Arms in strokes, 3-1, in a game that ended in darkness Friday night. They returned Saturday morning and were beaten by Arundel, 3-2.
"These kids are great," Chamness said. "They really have the heart this year along with the skill. I was so proud of them."
Chamness said Friday's game, which ended 1-1 after regulation, was the "best high school game I've ever seen."
Erika Hyrowski scored the Hawks' goal in the first half. Tara Fadrowski was the lone Hawk to convert a stroke.
Hyrowski and Fadrowski scored goals as the Hawks tied Arundel, 2-2, at halftime of yesterday's consolation game. Arundel's Danielle Werner scored four minutes into the second half and it held up for the game-winner.
"We played hard," said River Hill's Tanya Rutner. "We gave it everything we had."
River Hill starting goalie Shannon Hadley was sick and did not play in the tournament. Kate Macon was in goal, and Chamness was very pleased with her effort.
"She stopped some nice shots," Chamness said.
The Hawks next game will be Friday at Fallston.