PARSIPPANY When it came time to select someone to take a penalty stroke in overtime, Mountain Lakes coach Coleen Buckley didn’t hesitate to call on Abby Marshall.
Marshall, a senior midfielder, fired a hard shot into the lower left corner, where the ball hit the back of the cage with a no-doubt-about-it thud 2:25 into overtime to give Mountain Lakes a 1-0 victory over Parsippany.
The Lakers’ victory spoiled the Red Hawks’ inaugural game on its new artificial surface at George P. Johnson Field.
“I have a group of kids I could have chosen from,” Buckley said. “We have a nice group of strokers, but I chose Abby because I knew that she was going to be cool, calm and collected. And she just set that in the left corner, and it was a beautiful sound. Abby had a beautiful stroke.”
The penalty stroke was called after Parsippany goalie Kaylene Munoz came out to the left of her cage to make a sliding save on Macara Desai, who was breaking in all alone.
“It was a great feed from Eva Lane to Holly Smith and then over to Macara,” Marshall said. “She’s a freshman, and I’m rooting for her to score this goal because that would be the most amazing thing. But she gets hit by the goalie, we get a stroke, and I went for it.”
Parsippany (2-4) was the dominant team in the first half, playing most of the period in the Mountain Lakes end.
But some adjustments at halftime by Buckley helped Mountain Lakes (3-2) turn things around.
“They were controlling the ball in the first half, and we were not playing very low,” Buckley said. We came out very flat and our sticks were up in the air for most of the first half, and defensively we were coming in at the wrong angle on every possession.
“We talked about that at halftime. We made some adjustments and reminded people, and they just came back and decided that they were going to do what we said, and do what they know how to do. And we just came out and fought back that entire second half.”
Parsippany was not able to cash in on a scoring opportunity late in regulation when Julia DeIntinis’ diving backhander went wide of Lakers goaltender Meghan Cuozzo.
Mountain Lakes also threatened in the second half but was unable to capitalize on six penalty corners. Parsippany finished the contest with seven shots on goal to six for the Lakers.
“In the second half we had a lot of chances,” Marshall said. “We were right there every time, but we just couldn’t pull through. During that last stretch we thought we had it, But to go into overtime, it made the win all the better.”