Pleasant Valley survives OT
ron gower/times news Bangor's Keely Kuchar and Pleasant Valley's Shaun Spina race to a loose ball during District 11 Class AAA field hockey playoff action.
Nothing the Pleasant Valley field hockey team tried in their opening round District 11 Class AAA playoff game seemed to work during regulation.
Throughout the course of 60 minutes of regulation, the Bears just couldn't get anything right. Passes, connections, corners, and even shots were off the mark.
But with its season on the line, Johnny Schmid finally found the way to score the game-winning goal to lift Pleasant Valley to a 1-0 overtime victory over Bangor.
The qualifying round victory gave the Bears a fourth chance at a very familiar foe, Mountain Valley Conference champion and tournament No. 1 seed, Stroudsburg on Saturday.
After watching the Bears fall short of a goal on a total of 18 corner attempts, 13 of which came in the first half, first year Pleasant Valley coach Jessica Frantz was glad to see things finally fall into place for her team in the extra period of play.
"Things just weren't falling into place on our corners," Frantz said. "To be honest, Bangor had really strong defense on the corners. Still, our passes were going in the wrong direction. Our shots were right at the keeper or around the side of the cage.
"Nothing was falling into place anywhere during regular play."
After the Bears were unable to post a goal on four first half shots and four more attempts in the second half, Schmid finally made things happen a little over six minutes into overtime. In fact, the junior Bear capitalized on his team's first attempt in overtime.
With 9:45 left in overtime, the Bears' Melissa Russo got yet another perfect send in towards the Slaters' cage. This one was set in Schmid's direction near the far post. Schmid collected the pass and got enough of his stick on the ball to direct it past an out-stretched Slaters' keeper and the ballslowly rolled past the goal line literally inches over the line before the Slater keeper could get her glove on it.
"The goalkeeper was really close to saving it," Schmid said. "She got it and threw it out, but the ref just saw it in time to call it a goal."
It did take awhile for the referee to officially call the game, but when she did Schmid, Russo and the rest of the ladies celebrated the victory.
"I wasn't ready for the season to end," Schmid said. "Not at all. So, I gave it my all. I'm extremely happy we won this game."
The Bears win also avenged a loss to Bangor during the regular season.
"It feels really good to get this win, especially having that 1-0 loss to them a couple of weeks ago," Frantz said. "The girls were really pumped up going into this game because they really wanted this game,
"Now, we're just looking to go in to the game with Stroudsburg a little bit stronger, a little more confident. We have seen them three times now. So, there's really no guessing or surprises on what's going to happen."