By Steve Kirck | Special to GameTimeCT.com
MADISON — It was only fitting that it took extra time to decide the 2014 SCC field hockey champion as the league’s top two seeds met for the championship game between Daniel Hand and league newcomer Lauralton Hall.
But it didn’t take long once overtime started.
Hand senior Kathyrn Omdahl netted the game winner just 61 seconds into the first sudden victory extra session to give Hand the title with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win, a year after falling to Cheshire in the same contest.
“It’s definitely exciting when the ball was coming down the field,” Omdahl said. “Erin Mammele made a great pass and I just shot it. I was nervous it was going to bounce the wrong way but thankfully I got my feet around it and was able to put it in.”
It looked as though Hand (16-2-1) might win in regulation after taking a 1-0 lead 3:18 into the second half on a goal by senior Kelly Nizolek.
However, Lauralton Hall (14-3-1) applied pressure late in the second half forcing three penalty corners but could not get the equalizer.
Then, when all seemed lost, the Crusaders evened the score when Kara Duggan scored off a scramble in front to tie the game with just 1:26 left.
“That was a high level game and it’s fun to play games at that level,” Hand coach Sue Leckey said. “I knew Lauralton wouldn’t quit. I thought our veteran team could handle the overtime and they did. We got a great turnover, attacked down the middle with a long ball and Katie ran down the whole field, got the ball on her stick and got it past a real good goalie.”
Both goalies, Lauralton Hall’s Mary-Beth Rudolfh and Hand’s Melanie Renne, played well. Rudohlf made 10 saves, including a pair of diving saves to keep the Crusaders within one goal in the second half.
“I thought we had the momentum to start the overtime, Lauralton Hall coach Kate Cavanagh said.
“We got the ball to start and went down the field and had a mental breakdown that resulted in a 70-yard turnover and the goal. It’s pretty hearbreaking but the second you let up in field hockey that is exactly what will happen, especially against a team as good as Hand.”