Mount Hebron's Ali Lemons didn't need any time at all to give her No. 12 Vikings field hockey team a 1-0 overtime victory at Long Reach yesterday.
On a penalty corner played out as time expired, Lemons made the most of her borrowed time. She needed about five extra seconds to fire back a rebound off Lightning goalie Tiffany Trask's pads for the game-winner in the Howard County league contest.
The corner play, which must be played out, started with about 10 seconds left in the 10-minute seven-on-seven overtime period. The Vikings (3-1-1, 2-0 county) had already failed to score on a corner after time ran out in the first half.
This time, the Vikings could not connect on their initial corner play either, but Emily Smith kept the play alive for a second surge. Smith intercepted the Lightning's attempt to clear the ball (once it leaves the scoring circle, the play ends) and pushed it back toward the goal.
Teammate Julia Laun redirected Smith's pass left to Maria Bosica, who dribbled in and shot toward the right corner, where Trask stepped in front of it. The rebound ricocheted toward Lemons and she shot around Trask into the left corner.
"The ball was zinging around," said Long Reach defender Jordan Swain. "It got past my stick and I don't think we were really expecting them to hit it to that corner. It was a nice shot - unexpected and fast."
Bosica said the motivation for the goal came directly from the Vikings' defensive stand late in the second half.
During a two-minute period, ending with seven minutes left in regulation, the Lightning pounded Mount Hebron with five penalty corners and seven shots on goal. Vikings goalie Kristina Schweizer saved six shots and Emily Goldman made a stick save on the other. Vikings backs Smith, Lindsay Melvin and Robyn Jackson were also critical in the standoff.
Once the game went into overtime, Bosica said, the attack had to reward the defense for keeping them in the game.
"Our defense played tremendous in the end of the second half, really clutch playing, relentless," said Bosica.
Long Reach first-year coach Pat Payne couldn't find anything to complain about except the score. Although the Vikings had the edge in overtime, the Lightning (4-2, 0-1) outplayed them much of regulation, finishing with a 13-5 edge in shots.
"I couldn't have asked for a better performance," said Payne. "It was a near perfect game. We were getting shots, taking second shots. They were just stopping them."