MIDDLETOWN >> Almost.
The Mercy field hockey teams’ two-year winless streak looked like it was going to end Friday afternoon at Tiger Field.
The Tigers, who have scored just one goal all season, tallied a pair of goals in the second half against Sheehan. But Titans senior Emily Budds completed a hat trick with eight minutes and 15 seconds remaining and Sheehan escaped with a 3-2 Southern Connecticut Conference victory.
“We played hard and that’s what we’ve been doing all season long,” said Mercy coach Marji Sklar-Levine.
After a scoreless first half, Mercy junior Claire Taylor rattled the cage with a goal just four minutes into the second half and the Tigers had a rare 1-0 lead.
But Budds quickly answered with a pair of goals, the latter with 12:30 left to play.
“She’s our wing and has been a big part of our scoring game,” said Sheehan coach Avian Palermo, who is in her fifth season. “Budds and Eileen (Hinman) have been our top scorers.”
The Tigers, however, stunned the Titans less than a minute later with a great attack in the circle where sophomore Blake Braman was able to knock in the tying goal.
“It’s coming together and at least we had the ball down on our offensive end more than we’ve had all year,” Sklar-Levine said. “We’ve definitely seen some improvement skill-wise and communication-wise. We had a lot of opportunities today, a couple of breakaways, and it just didn’t fall for us.”
Sheehan senior goalie Carly Femniak finished with seven saves as the Titans improved to 4-3-2.
“We started off slow but we started to pick it up in the second half,” said Palermo. “It’s been difficult. We’ve had three overtimes so we set a goal for ourselves, let’s get one in the first 10 minutes of the second half and they came out pushing hard.”
Tiger junior goalie Shannon Murphy made eight saves, while Marialena Bevilacqua and Christiana Bevilacqua each had an assist.
“Shannon has been phenomenal,” added Sklar-Levine. “And defensively we did really well. We kept in the game.”
Mercy, which went 0-15-1 a year ago, fell to 0-8-1.
“We want that win,” Sklar-Levine said. “We move on thinking that we played so well today. We have a couple of other games that we feel we can win. We just have to keep plugging away.”