Field Hockey - Girls: Pennsbury vs Unionville (10/25/2017)

Pennsbury vs. Unionville

Home Team

Away Team

Game Date Sport Game Type Overtime
October 25th 2017 Field Hockey - Girls Non-League Game Yes

Pennsbury Comments

In the end, after nearly 87 minutes of intense playoff field hockey, all that separated Unionville and Pennsbury were the emotions of the moment.

On the Unionville side, there was elation, with some relief and exhaustion at the effort it took to win this one. On the Pennsbury side, there were tears, mixed with pride, as the unforgiving harshness of the moment began to set in.

Claire Donovan finished a cross from Annie McDonough with 3:24 left in the second overtime to give ninth-seeded Unionville a heart-stopping - and for Pennsbury heartbreaking - 4-3 win over the eighth-seeded Falcons in the second round of the District 1 tournament in front of a large crowd at Pennsbury. Unionville advances to the quarterfinals at No. 1 Downingtown West with the win, while the best season in Pennsbury field hockey history ended in a blink.

"We played really hard," said Pennsbury coach Jamie Parell. "We left everything we had out there. I couldn't be more proud of us. Ultimately, someone had to win. Unionville is a great team. Both teams played with great intensity the whole time. Now we wish them luck as they go on."

The overtimes were frantic and fiercely contested, like the last few rounds of an old championship boxing match, with both teams throwing everything they had at each other and a series of figurative punches and counterpunches.

Donovan's game-winner was the second-biggest play of the game. The biggest came 83 seconds earlier, when Unionville goalie Lizze Gaebel made an unbelievable one-on-one save on Pennsbury's Maddie Hackman in front to keep her team in the game. Hackman's shot was headed inside the near post before Gaebel got just enough on it to see it roll harmlessly wide.

Gaebel made two incredible saves in the game. Her first came just five minutes in, when she stopped Kate Chesney in close and then saw Olivia Mauro's follow attempt just sail over the top of the net.

Unionville's Annie McDonough scored the first goal of the game with 13:05 left in the first half, but Pennsbury got the equalizer on a Samie Hackman drive nine minutes later, after Chesney led her into the circle, making it 1-1 at the break.

Maggie Lawrence put Unionville back up 14:36 into the second half, but Hackman, again from Chesney, tied it at 2-2 34 seconds later. Pennsbury then took its only lead at 3-2 off a corner, as Annie Price received the ball and fed Nell Webber, whose blast was tipped in by Chesney. For Chesney, it was her 50th career goal. For Pennsbury, it was the lead with 8:39 to play.

The Falcons tried to hold on from that point, but Unionville kept piling up corners and cashed one in for the equalizer, from Katie Anderson, off the insertion from Donovan, making it 3-3 with just 3:55 to go.

From there on, Unionville would outshoot Pennsbury 12-2 for the rest of regulation and through the two overtimes. In fact, Unionville would outshoot Pennsbury 31-12 and have a 24-6 edge in penalty corners.

In the face of the onslaught, Pennsbury got huge defensive performances from Price and Amy Ronin, who had three defensive saves by herself, as well as Anna Sharp, Lily Nolan, Gianna Pinto and Alexa Tannenbaum. Michelle Deodati made a career-high 11 saves for Pennsbury, including six in the overtimes.

"We did everything we could," Parell said. "Nobody on either team has anything to be ashamed of. It was a great, great high school field hockey game."

Unionville is now 15-5 as it plays on.

Pennsbury's season ends at 15-4, including a 12-0 run through the Suburban One National Conference. The Falcons graduate 12 seniors from this team.