Holy Redeemer’s Shaina Dougherty and Tunkhannock’s Shayna Hunsinger battle for control during Tuesday’s District 2 Class 2A field hockey game at Hollenback Park.S.John Wilkin/The Times Leader
WIILKES-BARRE – It seemed as though Holy Redeemer had everything going in its favor when its District 2 Class 2A playoff game against Tunkhannock went into overtime.
Holy Redeemer had plenty of success in overtime during the regular season, winning five of the six games that went beyond regulation play.
And despite the scoreless tie, the Royals statistically dominated Tunkhannock during regulation play, limiting the Tigers to just two shots on goal in the first 60 minutes and holding a 13-5 advantage in penalty corners – including four corners in the opening minutes of overtime.
Then suddenly, it was the Tigers celebrating a victory on the Holy Redeemer field.
Tiff Rule lofted a shot over a sprawled out Holy Redeemer goalkeeper with 6:47 remaining in overtime to give Tunkhannock a 1-0 win against the Royals in an opening round game at Hollenback Park.
The Tigers (10-3-2) will face Wyoming Valley Conference Division III third-seed Lake-Lehman (13-2) in a quarterfinal game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Edward H. Edwards Stadium in Lehman Township. Redeemer ends its season at 8-8.
The Royals couldn’t take advantage of their many scoring opportunities, including four consecutive penalty corners in the opening three minutes of the overtime period.
“It’s the story of our season,” said Holy Redeemer head coach Juliann DeFalco. “If you can’t put the ball in the goal, you can’t win. We said Tunkhannock was going to get a breakaway, get the ball in the circle and get a goal. And that’s what happened.”
After the Tunkhannock defense stopped the Royals on the fourth penalty corner of overtime, the Tigers quickly moved the ball down field and were awarded a penalty corner. An initial shot was blocked by Redeemer goalkeeper Courtney Lee, who was horizontal on the ground. Rule, a senior midfielder, got the rebound and lofted a shot over Lee for the game-winner.
In the days leading up to the game, Tunkhannock head coach Liz Stackhouse had a feeling the playoff game might extend beyond regulation play.
“We knew Holy Redeemer played six overtime games and had won five,” said Stackhouse, whose team finished in third place in the WVC Division III. “We couldn’t practice for overtime on Friday because we had three starters out with the flu. But we practiced quite a while for overtime yesterday, knowing it might come to that. We made some adjustments and focused on what we needed to do.”
Stackhouse and the Tigers got a strong game from a defense led by sophomore goalkeeper Tara Hartman, junior defender Allysa Swilley, and sophomore defenders Shayna Hunsinger and Kristi Katra. Hartman finished with 10 saves.
“Our defense has played well all season,” said Stackhouse. “We switched some players halfway through the season and moved some players up. That’s why we’ve been scoring more.”
DeFalco, who finished her first year as head coach of the Royals, hopes the outcome will help her younger players down the road. Redeemer finished the regular season as the WVC Division II runner-up.
The District 2 Class 3A playoff get under way today with a pair of quarterfinal games. The tournament features six teams, with top-seeded Wyoming Valley West (11-4) and No. 2 seed Lackawanna Trail (8-6-1) each receiving a bye to the semifinals.
In today’s action at 3:30 p.m., No. 3 Coughlin (8-7) hosts sixth-seeded Wallenpaupack (4-11), while No. 5 seed Delaware Valley (6-9) travels to fourth-seeded Honesdale (7-8). The semifinals are scheduled for Monday, with Valley West hosting the Honesdale/Delaware Valley winner and Trail hosting the Coughlin/Wallenpaupack winner.
Valley West comes into the tournament as the hottest team, having won six of its last seven games. Coughlin and defending champion Lackawanna Trail is hoping to come out of a recent slump, with each team having lost three of its last four games – including a loss to Valley West.
Several attempts to contact head coaches Linda Fithian (Valley West), Colleen Wood (Coughlin) and Sandy Spott (Lackawanna Trail) were not successful.
First half: No scoring. Second half: No scoring. OT: TUNK, Tiff Rule (unassisted) 6:47.
Shots: TUNK 4, HR 10; Saves: TUNK 10 (Tara Hartman), HR 3 (Courtney Lee); Corners: TUNK 6, HR 13.
Jenna Skrinak played a role in all three of her team’s goals as Wyoming Area downed the WVC Division III runner-up Rangers in a District 2 Class 2A first round game. The Division III third-seeded Warriors (7-8-1) will face Division I champion Wyoming Seminary (15-0) in a quarterfinal game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Klassner Field in Kingston.
Skrinak scored the eventual game-winner late in the first half and she set up a pair of goals by teammate Sam Shiner.
Taylor Mazonkey scored the lone score for the Rangers.
First half: 1. WA, Sam Shiner (Jenna Skrinak), 25:46; 2. WA, Skrinak, 4:44. Second half: 3. WA, Shiner (Skrinak), 17:10; 4. NW, Taylor Mazonkey, 13:33
Shots: NW 8, WA 23; Saves: NW 15, WA 7 (Kourtney Schwerdtman); Corners: NW 10, WA 12.