Southern wins on penalty strokes

Southern wins on penalty strokes


Southern wins on penalty strokes



It is rare that Southern’s veteran field hockey coach Kathy Snyder, by her own admission, lets her players overrule her.

But Tuesday afternoon at Central Regional High School, Snyder followed her players’ lead during a first-round Shore Conference Tournament game.

As a result of the players’ suggestion, Snyder changed her strategy in the first round of penalty strokes and senior Bri Angellella made the clinching penalty stroke as ninth-seeded Southern advanced 3-1 on penalty strokes over eighth-seeded Central after both teams were deadlocked 1-1 after regulation and also after two 10-minute overtimes.

“I’ll be honest, I had a different order at first with our better strokers at the end of the lineup,” Snyder said. “But the players told me that they would like to not put us in a position where we had to win it at the end of penalty strokes. I let them choose the order.”

So, the players’ got their wish and the adjustment paid off.

Southern’s Victoria Caiazzo started the penalty strokes with a shot to the left corner past Central’s Taylor Keehn (nine saves). Central’s Hannah Crick started off her team’s efforts but her shot to the upper right corner was swatted away by Southern’s Nicole Andriani (two saves).

“Victoria Caiazzo put in a heck of a penalty stroke shot to set us off. That helped set the tone but I let them decide what made them the most comfortable,” Snyder said. “That’s a lot of pressure standing out there. They overruled me and I don’t allow them to do that often.”

Kieran McBrien and Angellella followed with successful penalty strokes to the low right and low left corners, respectively, to give Southern (10-2-1) a 3-0 advantage in the first round of penalty strokes. The Rams would have won it after just three tries if not for Central freshman Madison Demand extending it to four tries.

Demand needed a successful attempt after Andriani saved shots by Crick and Lauren Castellano, who both shot to the upper right corner. Demand fired to the lower left corner and Andriani made the initial save but the ball trickled off her leg and crossed over the goal line for a successful attempt.

“My first three on the penalty stroke list are my top three penalty strokers,” Central coach Madeline Dutton said. “I thought we would do a little better in penalty strokes because my first three are pretty good.”

Nevertheless, the final penalty stroke shooters for both teams didn’t even step to the penalty stroke line because Southern completed three of four shots and Central (12-1) made one of four shots with each team getting a maximum of five shots. If a team has an insurmountable advantage after three shots by both teams, the penalty stroke round ends regardless if there are shooters left for both teams.

“Believe it or not, we haven’t had a penalty stroke called for us this year. So, we’ve never had to attempt one in a game this year,” Dutton said. “And we haven’t even played an overtime game until Tuesday. So, this was two new things for us in this game.”

Earlier in the game, Southern took a 1-0 lead on Allison Spaschak’s unassisted goal at 7:48. Central got the equalizer in the second half when Crick crossed the ball from the right side of the circle toward the middle where Castellano fired home a shot to the center of the cage at 48:32.

Southern almost won the game in regulation after Central got whistled for a penalty stroke when then ball got trapped under Central’s Keehn after a series of Southern shots and Keehn saves.

Angellella took the regulation penalty stroke shot at 58:02 and Keehn made an incredible kick save on a hard shot to the lower left corner.

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