Niskayuna was forced to defend 16 penalty corners, was twice down a player for a five-minute stretch and also gave up a tying goal in the second half, which threw momentum Shenendehowa’s way.
Still, the Silver Warriors survived.
Claire Young scored Niskayuna’s first goal 34 seconds in, and Bowker snapped a tie with 2:38 left in the extra session as the Silver Warriors finally got the best of their Suburban Council field hockey rival with a 2-1 triumph Friday in the rain at Steuerwald Stadium.
“We prepare for this stuff in practice,” Niskayuna senior Sydney Bowker said after knocking in the winning goal in overtime. “We know it’s going to be an incredible game with them nine out of 10 times. We were ready.”
Shenendehowa defeated Niskayuna three times last season, twice in overtime, including a 3-2 thriller in the Section II Class A championship game.
“We have a lot of heart,” said Niskayuna coach Alison Broomhead. “Even if they’re playing flat like they did at times today, they have it in themselves to pick it up and accomplish the win.”
The win was the sixth in a row for senior-laden Niskayuna (6-0, 7-1), while Shenendehowa (4-2, 4-3) and its eight sophomores saw a four-game winning skein halted.
“Niskayuna has a seasoned team. They didn’t lose anybody, where we graduated some key players,” said Shenendehowa coach Jeanne Frevola, who lost a 24-goal scorer in Megan Rogers, among others, to graduation. “We’re expecting our young kids to produce, and while they’re getting better, they’re still green in a lot of ways. In the seven-on-seven [overtime] we had three sophomores and a ninth-grader out there. We need a little bit more experience.”
“Coach said we have to talk more, work on our give and goes, and do a little better job of dodging,” said Shenendehowa 10th-grader Erin Buckley. “We’ll keep working. We’ll get them the next time.”
Shenendehowa almost got Niskayuna this time. Buckley scored on a penalty stroke with 22:17 left in the second half, and Hope Andrascik was an inch shy of giving the Lady Plainsmen the lead with 7:50 to go when her 15-yard blast banged hard off the left post.
Shenendehowa continued to push the ball in overtime and was awarded three penalty corners in quick succession, yet came up empty on each bid before Niskayuna struck at the other end of the turf field.
“It’s disappointing. That’s twice we lost in overtime the same way,” said Frevola. “Against Saratoga, we couldn’t capitalize on three or four penalty corners, and they capitalized on theirs.”
Shenendehowa netminder Melissa Nealon went down while stopping a drive by Carrie Hanks, and Bowker lifted the ball into the cage for her fourth goal this week and seventh on the season. The forward scored a goal in Monday’s 3-0 win over Columbia, and had a pair in Wednesday’s 6-0 triumph over Shaker.
“Carrie had a great cross, their goalie made a save, and we went to the ball. The ball was up for grabs,” said Bowker. “It went so quickly. I went over her stick and it went in. It’s great how it turned out.”
“We work on our shooting so much during practice,” said Broomhead. “We knew the positions we needed to be in. We were all in the right spot, and their goalie was down.”
Niskayuna got the winning goal on its seventh penalty corner. Shenendehowa’s three corners just before all came while the hosts had a player advantage, after Janeen Bell was issued a yellow card for an illegal push.
“Every challenge we had, we stepped up,” said Broomhead. “We played a gutsy game and got a big win. We haven’t won on their turf in about three years.”
Young scored on the game’s first shot, hitting the low right corner, after taking a feed from Bowker. Buckley later fired the ball just inside the left post on her successful penalty stroke, which was awarded when Niskayuna goaltender Emily King trapped the ball while Shenendehowa players scrambled in close on a penalty-corner attempt.
“Everything was running through my head. I shot for the corner, and hoped for the best,” said Buckley.
Buckley is among the sophomores Frevola is counting on for big things this season. She knocked in the deciding goal during overtime strokes in last week’s 1-0 win over Shaker.
“We’re asking our younger kids to carry us in a lot of roles,” Frevola said. “They’ll get there. I’ve never had a team go backwards.”
Amy LeBel and Aubrey Kamppila scored goals, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake matched its Suburban Council win total from last year with a 2-0 victory over Guilderland.
Rose Carr assisted on botn goals, and Shannon Ryan made two saves to get the shutout for the 4-2 Spartans. Marissa DiMarzio made seven saves for the Lady Dutch.
Molly Higgins scored a goal off a Sydney Shaw assist, Chloe DeAngelis made three saves and Bethlehem won its second game in a row, 1-0, over Shaker.
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Categories: High School Sports