When Sara McVey flipped a pass toward Katelyn Sterling 54 seconds into overtime, the St. Georges field hockey senior knew exactly what to do.
“I just honestly swung at the ball as hard as I could at the goalie,” Sterling said with a laugh. “It was kind of hidden by my body, so that helped a little bit.”
Sterling scored both of the Hawks’ goals – both on assists from McVey – as St. Georges downed Charter of Wilmington 2-1 in overtime on Wednesday at St. Georges.
“Charter came back in the second half and in the latter part of the first half with a lot of aggression, so we had to counteract that,” Hawks coach Jessica Bloch said. “… I said nothing to them [going into overtime]. They just decided themselves that they weren’t going to lose today.”
St. Georges took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, as McVey got the ball on a fast break down the right side, drew the goalkeeper’s attention and passed to a wide-open Sterling for an easy goal.
“The first goal, basically I was just in the right place at the right time,” Sterling said. “Sara is always there to pass it across to me, so my job is to just make sure I get a stick on it and get it in the goal. I had an open goal, basically, because Sara drew her out of the goal.”
The Hawks almost made it stand up, despite constant pressure from the Force. Charter worked the ball into the circle repeatedly, but the St. Georges defense – led by Lacie Craft, Andrea Gregg, Lauren Unsihuay, Alexa Aguilar and Rylee Thompson – held Charter to nine shots.
“We’ve had way more shots than that in the past, so we hit a little bump in the road today,” Force coach Cindy DePrisco said. “Hopefully we can fix that in the next few days in practice. We’re used to getting a lot more shots off.”
Charter finally scored in the 57th minute, when sophomore Jordan Wood shoveled in a shot during an intense scrum in front of the cage.
The Force had the momentum and continued to press forward in the opening seconds of overtime, but the ball quickly reversed field and went to McVey, who fought off a defender and tapped it to Sterling for the winning goal.
“The girl trapped me, so I came around and reversed it farther out where [Sterling] was,” McVey said. “She was able to hit it in.”
St. Georges moved to 10-2-1 and improved its chances of qualifying for the state tournament, which begins Nov. 5. Charter (10-2) has already earned a tournament berth as the Blue Hen Flight A champion.