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|Field hockey stunned by tie|
|Thursday, 16 October 2008 09:19|
The Lady Dragons were on the verge of playing the perfect game and earning a share of the Patriot League title until perennial league power Hanover decided to ruin their party.
Holding a 2-0 lead for just under 58 minutes, Duxbury saw its chance to share the title with the Indians go by the board when Kristina Katsikis scored with 2:04 left in the game, and again with no time remaining on a penalty shot.
â€œI donâ€™t think we let up,â€ said Coach Pam Manley. â€œBut we just have to remember the game is never over, even though we thought we had the game won.â€
Dominating the first half, Duxbury scored early, as Mimi Smith took it down the field and passed to junior Lila Haffey, whose pass back to Smith found the back of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
It was the first goal Hanover keeper McKenzie Curran had surrendered all year, and it wouldnâ€™t be the last.
Duxburyâ€™s penchant for scoring early in a half continued in the second, as Tracy Clough poked a deflection past Curran at the 27:54 mark.
A 2-0 deficit is unheard of in Hanover, so there was little doubt the Indians would be picking up the pace.
â€œWe went into a little defensive mode,â€ said Manley. â€œPeople were staying back a little and that seemed to hurt us. There were too many defenders in the circle, and that led to the score.â€
It seemed to be all Hanover after Cloughâ€™s goal, as keeper Julia Hannon was forced to make a couple of big saves in the final ten minutes off a pair of corners.
The defense started to back in on Hannon as the clock wound down, and the chaos in front of Hannon resulted in the Indianâ€™s first score.
As the seconds ticked off the clock, the Indians earned another corner with 45 seconds remaining, keeping the ball in the Duxbury end for the remainder of the game.
The pressure on Hannon was intense, as Hanover stormed the net in the final 10 seconds and watched as a host of Dragon defenders piled on the ball in front of their goaltender.
One official blew her whistle as time apparently expired, but the lead official called her over before explaining to both coaches that the obstruction violation would result in a game-ending penalty shot.
Katsikis set up with both teams lining the field behind her. As the whistle blew, she flicked her shot into the top corner of the net, sending the Lady Dragons from euphoria into a state of shock.
â€œI know we can beat anyone,â€ said Manley. â€œI could see that after our first few games. We are the best team I have seen out on the field. I donâ€™t think our record and our game scores reflect that because of not capitalizing, and today that wasnâ€™t our problem.â€
Despite the heart-breaking tie, the Lady Dragons rebounded on Friday afternoon in Duxbury with a come-from-behind 2-2 tie with Notre Dame of Hingham.
ND pinned Duxbury with its only two losses in 2007, and the hosts were hoping to get some revenge in the non-league affair.
Cloughâ€™s goal with less than a minute remaining gave the team a little sense of satisfaction in ending the tough week.
Duxbury has a busy stretch on tap with four games in six days and a chance to wrap up a post-season berth with a pair of victories.