Field hockey team loses heartbreaker to Easton
Coming on the heels of Northampton’s 3-0 loss to Easton last Saturday in the EPC field hockey playoffs, there didn’t seem to be a compelling reason to spend two hours standing in the rain to witness the two teams play again in the quarterfinals of the District XI playoffs.
However, a different Konkrete Kids team showed up on Tuesday and those who braved the elements were treated to an all-time classic.
Easton got on the board first with a goal six minutes into the contest.
Bri Sell insured that the Kids were not going to go quietly on this day when she scored the equalizer one minute later.
Northampton kept the pressure up and forced four penalty corners in a three-minute span. Laura Tucker cashed in on the fourth corner and gave the Kids their first lead with 8:15 left in the first half.
Easton tied the score with 3:03 remaining before the break and the teams went into halftime at 2-2.
Ashley Diodoado took advantage of another corner when she directed the ball into the cage from her position hugging the right post. Northampton was 18:23 away from advancing to the district semifinals.
The Rovers knotted the game at 3-3 three minutes later.
Despite seven penalty corners between the two teams over the last 15 minutes of regulation, no ball found its way into a cage and the game went to a sudden death period.
Easton had the better of the chances in overtime. Taylor Kranzley made a great play to stop one Rover breakaway. Goalkeeper Kadee Schrader made a pair of key saves on clean looks by Easton shooters.
The Rovers earned a corner as time ran out in the first OT, but the shot they triggered rang off the goal post sending the contest into a second sudden death overtime.
The Kids were running on fumes but stayed resilient. They earned a corner with 4:20 left in OT but a good look went just wide of the mark.
Easton was awarded a corner with three minutes left and scored the heartbreaker to end Northampton’s season.
The disappointment was evident in head coach Carrie Saul’s voice as she tried to put the game in perspective.
“It was a hard-fought game. I cannot fault my girls for not giving enough effort,” she said. “The kids played almost an entire extra half. You hate to end your season with a loss, but once you get to the playoffs, only the state champion ends with a win.”
Senior captain Lauren Schaller was one of several players to shed tears after the game, but she composed herself to offer some thoughts on her final game for Northampton.
“I love this team more than anything,” said Schaller. “I’m so proud of them and everything we did today. I mean going into double-overtime was a big deal and we definitely held our own. I am nothing but proud of them.”
While it’s been a few years since the Kids have cleared the district quarterfinal hurdle in field hockey, the future is bright. Schaller and goalkeeper Cassie Borzillo were the only seniors on this team. Three returning EPC All-Stars: Sell, Kranzley, and Morgan McIntire, will form the core of a squad that should enter the 2020 season with high expectations.