by Tom Utescher
The field hockey teams from Germantown Friends and Penn Charter met in a scrimmage way back on September 1, and the Tigers and Quakers found themselves facing one another once again in one of the final outings of the autumn.
The two teams had been matched up in the Pa. Independent Schools tournament, and after they battled through 60 minutes of regulation and one 15-minute overtime last Wednesday afternoon, Charter scored early in a second OT session to claim a 1-0 victory over the visiting Tigers.
GFS, which lost a Friends Schools League semifinal to eventual champion Shipley on Monday, owned a final overall record of 10-7 following the recent outing at PC. Two days after that game, Charter was eliminated from the Indy Schools tournament by Notre Dame, but the Quakers (8-11) still had two Girls Inter-Ac League bouts left on their schedule.
In Wednesday’s match Penn Charter earned a corner less than two minutes into the action, but gave the ball away with a foul of its own. The Tigers charged the hosts’ circle and got off a shot that was turned aside by PC senior goalie Liz Cahn, and back down at the other end a threatening reverse-stick shot by Quakers freshman Tara Murphy was saved by visiting keeper Maddie Andrews, a sophomore.
The teams continued to romp back and forth, each penetrating into the circle of the opposition numerous times. PC had a corner go by without a shot, and then sent the ball across the GFS goalmouth without a getting a touch in front of the cage. During this same span in the middle of the period, Germantown earned three corners, and on the most promising sequence a loose ball in the middle was cleared out by Quakers senior Tess Reinhold.
Later, Tigers senior Isabella Didio slammed the ball at the Quakers cage from just outside the circle, but it went into the goal without any of her teammates making contact in the scoring area.
So it went through the rest of the first half and the entire second period. PC had a bit more ball possession and a shooting advantage, as reflected in the total saves for the keepers; 14 for Germantown’s Andrews and seven for the hosts’ Cahn. Andrews would’ve seen even more balls coming at her if not for the surehanded defense of senior back Mel Mason.
Following a time-out with 4:16 to go, Charter attacked much of the time until the end of regulation play. A last-second strike by the Quakers was averted when another GFS senior defender, Rachel Palmer, drove out a ball rolling about nine yards in front of the cage.
Early in the first overtime Tigers sophomore Sydney Weigert was hit by a ball and left the field, and later PC came up empty on two corners. In transition, Quakers junior Katherine O’Donnell dribbled the ball down near the left post, but Andrews was able to thwart the attack.
In the opening minute of a second overtime period, another PC 11th-grader, Anna Wills, escorted the ball down the right wing and crossed it through the circle. Freshman Avery Shoemaker missed a tip-in attempt at the far post, but the Quakers’ rookie made good on her next opportunity, ending the affair just under three minutes into the second OT.
O’Donnell brought the ball into the GFS circle and sent it low to Shoemaker near the left side of the cage. Andrews forced the freshman out along the endline a few yards, but Shoemaker reversed her stick for a shot back over into the goal.
“That was the first time I’ve done that kind of shot,” she related, “but that was the only way I could shoot from where I was.”
A former middle school standout, the Wyndmoor resident made an immediate impact when she joined the varsity this season.
Looking forward to her sophomore season, Shoemaker said, “I want to work on dodges and dribbling around girls, and I also want to get better at finishing in the circle.”
The ninth grader has plenty to keep her busy the rest of the year; she plays lacrosse at Penn Charter and also plays ice hockey for the Wissahickon Warriors in Chestnut Hill.