Last Second Dramatics Lifts Maine Field Hockey To, 3-2, Overtime Victory
ORONO, Maine – The Maine field hockey team officially had zero seconds left on the clock when Cassidy Svetek notched the game-tying marker in the second half against Bryant on Sunday afternoon, as the Black Bears erased a one-goal deficit in the blink of an eye. Svetek sent the game to an improbable overtime and Daniele Aviani clinched the victory as the Black Bears improved to 6-5 overall with the win.
"For a young group, I think they responded very well to the pressure today," said head coach Josette Babineau. "We came back twice and then to go ahead in overtime showed great resilience from our team. It was a very positive win for us."
The Black Bears were credited one final penalty corner as the game clock hit :00, giving Maine one last opportunity to send the game to overtime. Off the insertion by Nicole Sevey, Becca Paradee sent a ball to Aviani who in turn lofted a shot to the right of the goal mouth, where Svetek swatted the pass out of the air to even the score at 2-2.
In seven-on-seven overtime, Annabelle Hamilton, who tallied a team-high 10 shots in the game, fired a shot from the far right side of the circle and Skowhegan, Maine native, Megan Hancock made the initial save, but Aviani was spot on again, lifting a shot over the sprawled-out Hancock to record the golden goal.
Bryant and Maine remained scoreless through one half but the Bulldogs tallied the game's opening marker in the 40th minute as Kayleigh Ballantyne took a pass from Abigail Armstrong and blasted it from just inside the circle to make it 1-0.
It took the Black Bears nearly 19 minutes to respond but freshman Sydney Veljacic took a Holly Stewart pass, made a quick stop and let it fly from the top of the arc to knot it up at 1-1. It was Veljacic's second goal of the season.
In what was a see-saw affair, the Bulldogs reclaimed momentum in the 61st minute off a penalty corner. MaKayla Hancock found the back of the cage off the insert as Ballantyne inserted the pass and Fitzmaurice stopped and set up the shot.
It appeared Bryant was headed to their eighth win of the year when Svetek tallied her unlikely marker and Aviani put it away with just over nine minutes to spare in the first overtime period.
Maine tallied a season-high 29 shots in the game, with Bryant firing 10 at the Black Bear cage.
Natasha Ford made four saves and allowed two goals as she earned another win while Megan Hancock made 11 saves and allowed three markers.
Aviani was the toast of the team as she tallied three points, one goal and one assist having her best day as a Black Bear. Meanwhile it was Ballantyne that led the way for the Bulldogs.
The Black Bears will get back to conference play next Friday as the team travels to Durham, New Hampshire to play the University of New Hampshire. They'll then head back to Orono for a Sunday match against Northeastern. Match times are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.