Patterson Mill’s bid to play for the Class 1A state field hockey title came to an end Wednesday night at Broadneck High School in Annapolis.
The Huskies were beaten 3-1 by the Patuxent Panthers, who broke open a 1-1 tie with two second half goals.
"I think that we were dominating most of the game, we just couldn't get it into the back of the net,” senior Molly Egan said.
The Huskies fell behind 1-0 pretty quickly. The Panthers leading scorer, senior Mackenzie Dinopoulos (20 goals) scored an unassisted goal to give the Panthers the early lead, with 27:02 left in the opening half.
The Huskies answered five minutes later on a corner opportunity.
Sophomore Caroline Michaels scored the goal with junior Julia Frankis adding the assist.
Unfortunately, the Huskies, despite a number of other decent scoring chances, just couldn't find the goal.
"We kind of just messed up at that final moment when it counts and goes on the board,” Huskies coach Shannon Swinscoe said. “We’ve been really consistent in scoring in the playoffs until today. We just didn’t finish tonight, we just didn't finish. We had opportunities, we had way more opportunities then they did and we just didn't do it.”
Patuxent, however, did.
The Panthers nearly scored just two minutes into the second half, but with 21:32 to play Dinopoulos put the Panthers back out front and for good. Senior Savannah Gearhart assisted on the goal.
That forced Huskies coach Swinscoe to call timeout.
Moments later, Frankis hit a low drive toward the goal, but Michaels, positioned in front of the goal, had the ball hit directly on her foot for another painfully, lost scoring chance.
Midway through the first half the Huskies had a similar missed opportunity. Egan played a ball into the circle to junior Alyssa Levitt, who in her desire to get a good shot, had the ball go off her foot.
The Panthers (15-1) put an insurance goal in the cage with 8:46 remaining. Riley Ells, a freshman, carried the ball down the right sideline and into the box right at Huskies goalie Natalie Burke. Burke made a partial save, but the Ells shot somehow tricked into the goal.
Another freshman, Abby Alderman, had the assist.
The Huskies (9-8) put on a full-field press, but it was just not to be. A Frankis drive with 5:30 left went harmlessly wide.
Huskies goalie Burke finished with six saves, while Patuxent keeper Chloe South made 12 saves.
The loss in semifinal play was the third in four years for the Huskies and it it stings. “It just sucks being in this position again, because we're very used to it,” Egan said. “This happened three years now since I’ve been here, it's just heartbreaking."
Coach Swinscoe echoed Egan’s pain. “It’s painful, it’s painful for them. All these girls, most of them were with me, I have a lot of seniors that were on varsity as freshman,” she said. “This is a very strong group that I have, we don’t have a whole lot of gaps on the field or anything like that. It’s all strong and we just just did not finish and I know they wanted it. I know people were nervous, but it just didn’t happen for us. It is a shame because this is the group I thought for sure was going to do it.”
The Huskies have yet to win a state field hockey title, but did reach the final in 2010 and 2013.
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