There’s an awkwardness to a tie in that there’s usually one side a bit happier than the other. The Covenant and St. Anne’s-Belfield field hockey teams left the field in their 1-1 tie after a scoreless overtime in different mood. The Eagles dominated possession for the bulk of the first and second halves but the Saints defense answered the call, standing on its head in a lopsided affair statistically. As such, it was Covenant that felt like let a win get away with St. Anne’s proud to have earned the tie.
“I’m proud of the girls because we bounced back after they went ahead and Covenant’s a really good team that knows how to put you away,” said STAB coach Kim Katsuk. “Defensively we really played so well as a team. Everyone hustled back and fought as a team. It was a hard fought tie.”
The Eagles got on the board early in the first half with Ivy Allen setting up Lizzy Shim off of a clean short corner to make it 1-0.
“Our first three corners were fumbles — they were mis-hits or missed traps so it was nice to see on the fourth corner that it was perfectly executed,” said Covenant coach Annie Gumbs. “That’s not surprising for Lizzy to do that. She finds the corners of the cage pretty easily and she got her head up, saw the space and put it there.”
It took 12 minutes for the Saints to answer, but they did with a quick breakout followed by a scrum in front of the cage with Cat Carden equalizing things at 1-1.
“It was a big hit out of the back that got it started and we’ve got some fast forwards,” Katsuk said. “Cat Paphites sent the ball to the circle and Kat Corrin has a nose for the goal and when she has the ball near her she finds a way to score. It was a scrappy goal off a quick counter attack.”
The second half saw the Eagles pepper the Saints with shots. A short corner with 15 minutes saw Shim fire off three shots alone in just a few second but not of them could get past Santia McLaughlin who finished with an impressive 15 saves. The Eagles wound up with 13 short corners on the night but in 12 of the them, Covenant couldn’t get a clean shot off on a handful and the STAB defense rallied through the others.
“St. Anne’s played phenomenal defense and as my assistant coach (Alan Good) likes to say, we couldn’t put the round thing in the square thing,” Gumbs said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the cage and that’s frustrating and I think it wore on them as the game went on but they still stuck together and work together all the way through and kept trying. Unfortunately nothing came of it.”
The Saints weren’t able to get much going offensively in the second half and spent the bulk of it simply clearing the zone and trying to give their defense a break. But overtime changed things.
In OT, the possession was relatively even, but neither team was able to square up a shot until the final minute of play.
“With 7v7 you just remind everyone it’s all about possession and so you have to be smart and composed,” Katsuk said. “I’m disappointed we couldn’t find a way to score but that doesn’t take away from how proud I am of the effort from the girls all game.”
With thirty seconds left the Eagles got a breakaway but a hard shot sailed wide right of the goal and that was the final meaningful play of the overtime.
“It’s one of those things where the stats might be weighted in one direction but that never means that you’ve won the game,” Gumbs said.
St. Anne’s (5-9-1) hosts St. Gertrude’s on Friday at 4:30 p.m. while Covenant (8-2-1) hosts Trinity Episcopal on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.