by Tom Utescher
With the rain of the previous weekend now behind them and warm sunny weather in place last Wednesday, athletes from Norwood Fontbonne Academy and Country Day School of the Sacred Heart may not have minded spending a little extra time on the hockey field.
The two members of the Girls Catholic Academies League engaged one another through their customary 50 minutes of regulation play and then 15 minutes of overtime. In the end, though, both goalies, including eighth-grader Kayla Cofield for visiting Norwood, didn’t allow anyone to score, and the match ended as a 0-0 tie.
Both teams have struggled against the top several teams in the league, although NFA lost most of these bouts by a single goal. Two days before travelling to Sacred Heart’s hillside campus on Bryn Mawr Ave., the Norwood Bears had played a home game, getting goals from eighth-grader Rory Williamson and seventh-grader Maggie Woolley to defeat Waldron Mercy Academy.
On Wednesday the Sacred Heart Lions attacked at the outset and earned the first two penalty corners of the game. Nothing came of them, and on fouls by the hosts Williamson took the hits out for NFA. Her classmate, Kristen Neill, started the game at sweep.
Midway through the first half, Norwood was awarded a corner and seventh-grader Lucy Mansfield made the insertion. She got the ball back when it was driven back down low from the top of the circle. NFA fans cheered when they heard the ball hit the Sacred Heart backboard, but according to the officials, there was no goal owing to a Norwood foot foul on the play.
Pretty much the same thing happened to the Lions on a corner play eight minutes into the second half. Norwood had enjoyed the last corner opportunity of the first period, but wasn’t able to get off a shot.
Through the middle portion of the second period, the visitors had five more penalty corners, and on most of these plays Williamson received the ball at the top of the circle and drove it back down. One time the ball was tipped just outside the left post, and on another occasion seventh-grader Clare Gimpel was in proper position near the post but couldn’t quite get her stick on the ball for a tip-in.
Sacred Heart was on the attack in the closing minutes of regulation. On the last of a series of corners by the Lions, seventh-grader Lauren Slovensky cleared the ball out of the circle for Norwood, and the game went into overtime.
For the seven-on-seven session, the players NFA picked to join Cofield (the goalie) were Gimpel, Neill, Slovensky, Williamson, and eighth-graders Alyssa Charlton and Charlotte Gilmore.
Norwood earned the first corner of the OT, but fouled during the sequence. The hosts had one at the other end, getting the ball to the doorstep of the goal and then seeing the Bears’ Slovensky clear it away.
Late in the extra period NFA was awarded two more corners.
The visitors didn’t get off a shot on these plays, even though they sent the ball across the front of the goal the first time. Soon the ref’s whistle signaled that the teams would have to settle for a 0-0 tie.