Along the Our Lady of Good Counsel Falcons’ sideline erupted a frenetic energy as they took a 4-3 lead Wednesday over the Bishop O’Connell Knights with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter.
The screams, cheers and sideline jumping in support of their on-field squad never ceased, despite the Knights’ Madi Sullivan scored with 5:01 in the final frame to deadlock the score at 4-4.
Even after they failed to score on three corners in the final minutes of regulation. And just when things looked dire as Knights’ Hailey Flick ripped a shot on net, requiring Falcons goaltender Zoe Tate to make a kick save.
With each break-up play made on defense by senior Hailey Huebner and junior Lucy Beucher, the away teams’ sideline brought raucous support bringing the team new-found endurance heading into overtime.
Falcons Head Coach Kelly Massino praised the team’s poise and patience.
“There were a couple of calls that didn’t necessarily go their way and I knew they were both flustered and not super happy about that,” Massino said. “But instead of focusing on things they couldn’t control, they focused on keeping their stick down, focused on communicating and they played a phenomenal game.”
Beucher attributed their success due to her teammates’ support.
“We pride ourselves on our sideline energy and making sure everyone is contributing, even if you’re not on the field,” Beucher said. “And being on the field, it is totally a game changer when someone is screaming your name.”
They needed the support after the Knights scored more goals in the first quarter than Good Counsel allowed any other conference opponent all season.
“We kind of underestimated their speed, which is on us,” Huebner said. “They were really fast and we kind of didn’t expect the first goal to be scored on us. … We were a little flustered but by the end of the first quarter we started to get in our groove and work together.”
As overtime commenced, those on the pitch, further spaced out due to overtime seven-on-seven rules, never suffered from energy transitioning into anxiety. Combating the Knights, the Falcons sustained a strong midfield and offensive zone presence, peppering shots toward net until a foul resulted in a penalty corner attempt.
Good Counsel further gained an extra player advantage and reset after a Knights defender flew too early on the first attempt.
With 2:46 remaining in the overtime frame, senior Charley Noah slung a pass down low for junior Kaleigh Terwilliger, whose deflection rung the back of the Knights goal for the game-winner.
“The perfect storm,” Massino said. “Everything worked all at once and got exactly what we needed. It all came together at the exact right time.”
Next up for Good Counsel (11-1-1) are the Bullis Bulldogs (1-3) at noon Saturday at the Potomac school.