Bennett saves the day for Tigers
Kylee Bennett of Northwestern (left) tries to go around Palmerton's Samantha Doherty. Northwestern won the game, 3-2, thanks to a late goal by Bennett.
With under five minutes left in the game, Kylee Bennett missed a chance to seal the deal for Northwestern on a penalty corner.
Bennett more than made up for it in the waning moments of the Tigers' Colonial League showdown with Palmerton.
With overtime looming, the junior Tiger got her stick on a feed from Tiffany Gumina just in the nick of time to post the game-winning goal in a 3-2 nail-biter.
Shortly after the Bombers' Jessica Pereira took off with the ball toward the Tigers' net only to see a potential game-winner slip out of bounds with a minute-and-a-half to go, Gumina received the chance to do the same for the Tigers. To those on the sidelines, it looked as if the upperclassmen was the one who finished the deal as the Tigers celebrated.
But it was Bennett who was eventualy credited with the game-winner.
"Tiff took off with the ball and then got the ball off," Bennett said. "It looked like it was heading off goal and I just kind of got my stick upright in time to deflect the ball in."
Despite watching her Tigers (3-1, 2-1) walk off the field as victors, Northwestern head coach Jess Becker was still concerned about one area of the game.
"Our problem continues to be finishing off in the circle," Becker said. "I'm glad we could do it when we needed to and that's definitely awesome, but we need to do it most consistently. We can't let it come down to the end next time. This week we'll continue to work on finishing off in the circle."
According to Palmerton head coach Kim Seiler, it was her team's preparation that helped the Bombers present a true challenge to the hosts.
"We really worked yesterday at practice on connecting our passes better and getting the ball in the opposite circle," Seiler said. "The girls really did that well today. They connected. They passed the ball. We had more opportunities in the circle today than we have had in the last three games.
"We even had 10 or 11 shots on goal and that's more than we have had all season. We did really well. I'm proud of them."
After suffering four straight shutouts to the Tigers over the last two years, Palmerton's Kyle Rodriques was able to put an end to that. She gave the Bombers a 1-0 lead with 24:57 left in the first half. It was the first time the Bombers pushed a goal to the back of the Tigers' net since September of 2009.
It wasn't until 5:50 left in the first half when Caileigh Landrigan was finally able to post the Tigers' first score. The goal knotted the game at 1-1 right before half.
After half, Sara Jones only needed 51 seconds to give her Tigers their first lead. Sitting right in front of the net, Jones took a feed from Alex Lerner and fired it past Bombers' goalkeeper Lydia Anthony for a 2-1 lead.
Refusing to cave, Bomber senior Morgan Myers gave her team new life with a goal. Myers slipped the ball past the Tigers' keeper Lorraine Feinour on a breakaway.
But Bennett saved the day, converting the 16th and final Tiger shot into a goal. Being unselfish, Bennett immediately pointed out those around her for making the victory possible against a Bombers squad they had outscored 23-0 over the last two seasons.
"It was simply crazy," Bennett said. "I'm just really glad that we all worked together and we came out with the win.
"Palmerton worked really well as a team. They gave us a real challenge. Our team just pulled it together in the end, but they were really tough competition."