STAMFORD — The Stamford field hockey team is nothing if not persistent.
The Black Knights were knocking on the door of the Westhill cage all afternoon before finally converting their 18th corner of the game with 0:00 showing on the clock, tying Westhill and sending the game to overtime where it would finish 1-1.
Down a goal, Stamford (3-6-0-1) was awarded back-to-back corners with no time left on the clock and on the second opportunity, the ball bounced to the stick of Brycelin Stalteri, who banged it into the back of the cage, tying the game.
“I was so shocked it went in, but I was so happy because we never really practice that corner but I got the ball and it went in. It was great,” Stalteri said. “We started off a little slow today but then we got our mojo back and we got the goal.”
Stamford had 19 corners in the game compared to just one for Westhill, but only converted the one opportunity as Westhill’s defense remained stout.
“Our defense played well and held it together. They looked like a team out there,” Westhill coach Brenda Birch said. “Cross-town rivalry always brings out the best in both teams. We worked hard today and came off the field tired which is what they are supposed to do.”
Westhill (1-7-0-1) scored the first goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half when Alex Lazo sent a cross to a wide-open Anna Martelli, who guided the ball in, putting the Vikings in the lead despite Stamford’s control of the majority play.
“I was open by the goal in my position and the ball got sent straight in and I was just in the right spot at the right time and I just tapped it in,” Martelli said. “I think we did really well today and we played with a lot of heart. A game like this matters a lot to us. Our defense is super strong and they held their ground today and we made sure to get back.”
In overtime, Stamford kept up the pressure but could not get the game-winner.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brianna Weibrand, Westhill. The Vikings’ goalie was on point all afternoon, turning away 10 shots and facing relentless pressure as Stamford piled up the corners.
“Their fly was really fast and we haven’t seen that much this year,” Stamford coach Randi Fodiman said. “We have a young team and trying to make moves on the go is not as easy as it is with a seasoned team but they finished it and got the job done. You can’t teach that kind of perseverance. It has been fun to coach this team.”
FANS WANT MORE
After overtime ended with the score tied, the student sections of both schools chanted “five more minutes!” hoping the game would continue until a winner was decided. Their chants fell on deaf ears.
STAMFORD 1, WESTHILL 1
STAMFORD 0 1 0—1
WESTHILL 0 1 0—1
Records: S— 3-6-0-1; W—1-7-0-1
Goals: S— Brycelin Stalteri; W—Anna Martelli. Assists: W— Alex Lazo. Goalies: S—Kristen D’Ariano 4 saves; W— Brianna Weibrand 10 saves