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Archive for November 12, 2022

Nov. 12, 2022 — Championship Saturday On-The-Go 2022

This morning, with a whistle blown on the same fields where Tracey Fuchs, head coach of your current NCAA field hockey champion Northwestern, played her prep ball, a panoply of games will begin.

Today, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., there will be five state finals in New Jersey and four in Maryland. There will be quarterfinals in Pennsylvania, the New York and Virginia state semifinals, and playoff action in Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The cherry on top is the championship final of the Open Division bracket of the CIF San Diego Section.

In play today are eight teams within our Top 11. When we write a blurb involving one of them, we’ll bold the first sentence. There will be storylines playing out all day long, and we’ll try to keep tabs on them here on the blog. Just make sure you hit “refresh” every once in a while to see what is going on below.

9:35 a.m., Centereach, N.Y. — The first game of the day is the NYSPHSAA Class A semifinal between Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) and Clarence (N.Y.). Both are from the “snow belt,” where sudden snow showers are possible from mid-October through mid-April. Clarence is 18-0 on the season, while C-NS is 15-2. As an institution, CN-S should know a thing or two about championships, as the school was the host site for the field hockey semifinals and finals for a time.

The game is on, with C-NS on the front foot and looking for a goal shot, but Clarence, which has a dozen shutouts this year, is holding fast.

But what’s this? Clarence gets its first corner and the L1 option shot is knocked wide.

10:00 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — The first of five NJSIAA finals are about to start. In Group I, you have West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.), winners of 17 state championships and the last three on offer. Meanwhile, West Deptford is coming back from a period of time a couple of decades ago when they didn’t have enough to field a varsity team. It is the Eagles’ first state final since winning the 1996 state title.

That game has started already, and the teams are trading possessions in the midfield. But Shore cuts out a diagonal and leads to a free hit in a promising position for the Blue Devils.

But now, West Deptford has a penalty corner. The 1-Up is saved and the ball hits a Shore foot.

10:20 a.m., Centereach, N.Y. — Back over in Centereach, we have C-NS taking a 1-0 lead over Clarence as the other New York Class A game between No. 6 Northport and Scarsdale begins on a nearby pitch. Northport has a 55-game win streak, which includes last year’s state final; the previous year, the Tigers won their section but there was no state tournament to win because of the Coronavirus.

There is an unusual concentration of girls’ sports talent at the school, as the lacrosse team has done very well the last three years. Scarsdale, playing its best hockey in a couple of decades, was invited to the National High School Invitational, but went 0-3 on the weekend against some very tough competition.

There was a delay to start this match because Northport’s goalkeeper did not have a helmet with a throat protector. But Northport has opened the match with full gas, getting a penalty corner in the second minute, but the inserter duffed the pass and the entire play was lost. Yes, you do have to realize that we are watching 14- to 18-year-olds.

10:30 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — In Bordentown, West Deptford has taken a 1-0 lead as Eva Mikulski was able to arrive at the same time the ball got into some open space in the goalmouth, and she scores to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The crowd, with a sizable WD student section, erupts!

Interesting bit of trivia: the West Deptford school campus was gifted an enormous bronze eagle statue from a Strawbridge & Clothier department store in the midst of the chain’s bankruptcy shutdown

Shore gets a penalty corner now, as the clock ticks down to under four minutes in the first half. Maggie McCrea cranks in her 42nd of the season, and it is 1-1.

10:50 a.m, Philadelphia, Pa. — While we’re here, and games are now at the half, I want to point out that today is the final league fixture of the 2022 season. That is, a regularly-scheduled match not leading to a playoff.

It used to be that Hightstown Peddie School (N.J.) and Blairstown Blair Academy (N.J.) would play their league game the Saturday before Thanksgiving, as part of Peddie-Blair Day. But that date has been moved up two weeks, meaning that the latest league game currently being played is today’s game between Philadelphia Penn Charter (Pa.) and Fort Washington Cermantown Academy (Pa.). Penn Charter is leading this game 1-0 in the first half.

10:50 a.m., Centereach, N.Y. — A nice sweep shot by Christina Wagner, her second of the game, gives Cicero-North Syracuse a 2-0 lead over Clarence in the New York Class A semifinal.

But right after that, C-NS gets a two-minute green card, which pushes Clarence forward. Clarence gets a PC and the team gets a goal on a penalty corner! It’s a power play goal!

Cicero-North Syracuse leads 2-1 and it’s all to play for!

10:55 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — Meanwhile, McCrae has scored another! Her brace has given Shore a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute of the New Jersey Group 1 final; timeout, West Deptford.

But only a minute and a half later, West Deptford ties it up! This should be interesting.

11 a.m. Owings Mills, Md. — They’re about to start the Maryland 4A final between Annapolis Broadneck (Md.) and Potomac Winston Churchill (Md.). Undefeated Broadneck has the stands of Stevenson University’s stadium jammed; the motorcade taking them to the college was reflected in a traffic report this morning.

Winston Churchill has not won a state championship since 1983. The Bulldogs were an early rival of Severna Park when it came to state honors. But while SP has 25 state titles to its credit, Churchill has had four decades of heartbreak.

11:15 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We’re under four to go in Bordentown as Shore and West Deptford are tied at 2-2. West Deptford is on the front foot here, getting two late penalty corners but are not able to get a shot on goal on either of them.

But what’s this? Shore gets a PC in the final half-minute. The Blue Devils with the Brooklyn start to McCrae and the ball just went wide of the cage! We’re going to overtime!

11:20 a.m. Owings Mills, Md. — Back at Stevenson University, we have a goal for Broadneck on a penalty corner as the Bruins take a 1-0 lead. It’s one move towards an undefeated season.

11:25 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — As we head to overtime in Bordentown, one thing to note: without a Tournament of Champions, the probability of a co-championship after a drawn game after overtime has quintupled.

And let’s take a look at yesterday’s NCAA octofinal round. Half of the games went into overtime, and only one of those ended in a conventional goal from a corner or from field play. The other three were from a penalty stroke and two penalty shootouts.

I have an uncomfortable feeling that, somewhere, the four most discouraging words will be announced over the public-address system: “Co-champions shall be declared.”

West Deptford has had some delicious chances, but Shore’s goalkeeper has been awesome.

11:30 a.m., Centereach, N.Y. — While one of the New York Class A semis finished 3-1 in favor of C-NS, we’re going to overtime in Centereach as Scarsdale and Northport are tied 0-0. The team are exchanging possession and looking for some kind of opening.

Northport gets its eighth corner in Minute 67, but Olivia McKenna was thwarted by the Scarsdale goalkeeper.

Two minutes later, McKenna with a Zig-Zag corner to beat the goalkeeper and win the semifinal! Golazo! That’s 56 wins in a row for the Tigers in a hard-fought effort.

11:45 a.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We have a goal from West Deptford off the stick of Natalie McGivern on a penalty corner in the 78th minute! McGovern is being carries off the field by her teammates! What scenes on the field! It is the first state title for West Deptford in 26 years!

Shore Regional had its chances in extra time; barely two minutes before, the game was on McCrae’s stick, but the Eagles defense has been stout.

11:55 a.m. Owings Mills, Md. — Back to the Maryland 4A title game, and it’s Broadneck doubling its lead, scoring to make it 2-0. The Bruins are not resting, and are pressing the advantage in the third quarter. Broadneck has gotten a couple of corners, but have not gotten a third goal. We head to the fourth with the Bruins up two.

12:05 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — It looks like the New Jersey Non-Public final is about to take place. Despite the late finish of the previous game, Sumit Oak Knoll (N.J.) and Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.) were able to warm up on the adjacent turf. The site has enough turf for three simultaneous games if need be.

Camden Catholic is the side that stopped Pottstown Hill School (Pa.) from having an undefeated season; Oak Knoll was one goal from winning the final Tournament of Champions game in a Garden State Firm classic against Voorhees Eastern (N.J.).

The interesting matchup: U.S. women’s national team member Olivia Bent-Cole against Oak Knoll’s penalty corner defense.

12:10 p.m., Massaponax, Va. — The Virginia High School League’s Class 6A semifinal has already drawn first blood, as Fairfax (Va.) has taken a 1-0 lead over Stafford Colonial Forge (Va.). The Lions have a record of 22-1-1; they went 1-1-1 at the National High School Invitational.

12:20 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. — At the New York Class B semifinal, we have a juicy matchup between undefeated South Glens Falls (N.Y.) and Garden City (N.Y.). Garden City is a blueblood program with several state championships to its credit including a record of 32 consecutive shutouts over the 1998 and 1998 seasons.

The teams create chance after chance but not quite getting the ball into the cage.

In the other Class B semifinal, Vestal (N.Y.) has no such problems finding the cage, as they lead Elma Iroquois (N.Y. 5-0 midway through the third.

12:25 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — Camden Catholic’s Olivia Bent-Cole takes some space, beats two players off the dribble, and rams it in! Golazo!The Irish take a 1-0 lead into the second quarter.

And just after the start of the second quarter, Bent-Cole feeds for another Camden Catholic goal! Wow!

12:30 p.m, Exeter, Pa. — Upset Alert! Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), widely seen as the second-best Class AAA team in Pennsylvania, is being taken to overtime by Malvern Great Valley (Pa.). The Falcons have made the state final three out of the last four years, but have not won an outright state title since 2013.

The two teams traded goals in the final 10 minutes of play with Great Valley getting the equalizer in Minute 57..

12:40 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. — The New York Class B semifinal has taken a turn as Garden City is on a two-minute power play. This is a chance for the Trojans to tip the field, as South Glens Falls has generated eight corners already.

Ugh! SGF is not having any luck generating a shot or even a complete pass on a corner play.

The Bulldogs, however, are heaping pressure on the attack, keeping it simple, but just missing a post pass on a corner play. It looks like this one will go to half drawn at 0-0.

12:45 p.m. Richmond, Va. — While all this is going on, the Commonwealth of Virginia is crowning two state champions today. The Virginia Independent School Athletic Association’s Division championship has just gone final with Norfolk Cape Henry (Va.) beating Fredericksburg (Va.) Academy 3-0. The second game, featuring No. 7 Norfolk (Va.) Academy and Richmond (Va.) Collegiate, is later today.

12:50 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We have a penalty stroke for Oak Knoll in the NJSIAA Non-Public final up in Bordentown in the 36th minute. Kate Siedem, as cool as you like, pings the side netting and gets the ball to nestle there. It’s 2-1 for No. 4 Camden Catholic and Oak Knoll feels it is back in the game.

12:55 p.m. — Spotsylvania, Va. — In the VHSL Class 4A semifinal, Spotsylvania Courtland (Va.) has doubled its advantage over Mechanicsburg Atlee (Va.) with 10 minutes to go. The penalty corner goal was by Chloe Davis, and it looks like the Cougars are destined for tomorrow’s final.

1:07 p.m., Shillington, Pa. — The PIAA Class AA quarterfinals have a pair of contrasting programs as multi-time champion Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.) takes on Mechanicsburg (Pa.). Mechanicsburg is a team which has gotten some great success in recent years, including a 4-0 win this year over Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) at the National High School Invitational.

Crestwood has sent some great players to the U.S. national team pool, and their goalie, Isabella Caporuscio, just made an Olympian effort on a Mechanicsburg shot, leaping to the corner to parry it away! What did I just see?

1:15 p.m, Exeter, Pa. — Lower Dauphin is able to get a goal early in overtime to beat Malvern Great Valley (Pa.) in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals; next up is either Manheim (Pa.) Township or Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.).

1:20 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. –Garden City is on a penalty corner 11 minutes from the end of the New York Class B semifinals. They all know they have to play Vestal (N.Y.) in the final tomorrow. The Trojans have a couple of good chances, but cannot put it into the cage

Moments later, its South Glens Falls on the PC; it is the 21st chance for the Bulldogs. We’re in the final three minutes; what can they do with this? Well, it looks like Garden City has defensed that one. Looks like we are destined for overtime

1:30 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We are at full time in the New Jersey Non-Public Final, and, for the first time since 1985, No. 4 Camden Catholic is a state titlist, beating Oak Knoll 2-1. Oak Knoll tried to engineer a comeback, but it came up just short.

1:32 p.m., Shillington, Pa. — Controversy! Crestwood, in scoring a goal against Mechanicsburg, knocked the Wildcats’ goalie’s helmet off. The Cats seem to believe that the ball should be blown dead on the spot. It is a rule in many sports, but does it apply here? The umpires give the goal, and it is 1-1 at the interval.

1:35 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. — More controversy! Garden City thinks it has earned a penalty stroke against South Glens Falls, but a penalty corner is the call. The resulting shot does wide! The teams trade corner chances until 42 seconds left in the OT period, where the Bulldogs burn a timeout. We’ll go to a second overtime after the corner fails to generate a good shot.

1:45 p.m. Richmond, Va. — We’re underway between No. 7 Norfolk (Va.) Academy and Richmond (Va.) Collegiate, in a game being played at a gorgeous water-based turf pitch at Richmond St. Catherine’s (Va.). This is for the Division I championship of the VISAA. Interesting to note that a good Richmond Trinity (Va.) side fell short of the title game.

Lots of doings in Pennsylvania. Palmyra (Pa.) is leading Elverson Twin Valley (Va.) 1-0 at the half, Oley (Pa.) Valley leads Lewisburg (Pa.) 3-1, and Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) has beaten Hershey (Pa.) in overtime. Meanwhile, we’re headed to the fourth quarter with Mechanicsburg and Crestwood tied 1-1

2 p.m., Delmar, Del. — No. 1 Delmar (Del.) is playing Woodbridge (Del.) in a quarterfinal of the DIAA Division I Tournament. Predictably, the Wildcats score early, with Jordyn Hollamon and Maci Bradford scoring in the first eight minutes.

2:05 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. — We have overtime in Centereach as South Glens Falls and Garden City cannot find a goal. Headed to a penalty shootout!

Garden City starts the shootout and scores; South Glens Falls misses the cage!
Garden City scores; South Glens Falls has it stolen; GC leads 2-0
Garden City loses it over the end line; SGF saved! But with the back stick, so it is a re-do.
–SGF hits the post but rolls over the line and GC leads 2-1
Garden City is called for a push; SGF saved! GC leads 2-1 and can win it next inning
Garden City hits the side of the goal; SGF is stick-tackled and the clock expires!

Garden City and South Glens Falls draw 0-0, but the Trojans win the penalty shootout 2-1

2:10 p.m., Shillington, Pa. — While all this is going on, Mechanicsburg gets a Cam Standish goal in the 56th minutes to take a 2-1 lead over Crestwood. The Mechanicsburg supporters are cheering madly at Don Thomas Stadium!

The Wildcats are trying to see out the game in the final minute of play. But Crestwood gets a seeing-eye shot with 30 seconds left by Ava McConnell to tie the score 2-2! More drama, I’m sure, to come!

What’s this? Mechanicsburg with an untimed corner at the end of regulation! A hard pass out to the inserter goes through everybody and the game goes to overtime!

2:20 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — While all this is going on, the NJSIAA Group 2 final between Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.) and North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.) is under way. West Essex is the blue-blood team here, but Point Pleasant Boro is playing some of its best field hockey since a young lady named Christie Pearce (later Rampone) was a legendary three-sport athlete.

West Essex, however, has taken a 2-0 lead in the second quarter and seems to be controlling this game.

2:30 p.m. Owings Mills, Md. — Pocomoke (Md.) senior Marli McDorman is en fuego. The future ODU Monarch has a hat trick as the Warriors hold a 3-1 lead over Sykesville South Carroll.

Er, make that 4-1, with Dakota Trader crushing it into the back of the cage on an angle.

2:35 p.m., Shillington, Pa. — Overtime green card! Mechanicsburg is on the power play, which is enormous in 7-v-7.

And the change of momentum has led to an overtime goal for the Wildcats as the ball somehow dribbles over the line! Grayson Catalano sends Mechanicsburg to the semifinals of the PIAA Class AA Tournament! What a game!

2:45 p.m. Richmond, Va. — I wasn’t expecting this: Richmond Collegiate (Va.) is holding a 4-0 lead over Nov. 7 Norfolk Academy as they go to the fourth quarter of play in the VISAA Division I title game.

2:50 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — And now, West Essex makes it three in the Group II final against Point Pleaseant Boro. The Knights are carrying this game like they have done so many times in the past.

3:05 p.m., Centereach, N.Y. — In the New York Class C semifinals, Hoosick Falls Central (N.Y.) opens its account with a 1-0 lead over Carle Place on a penalty corner.

Minutes later, it’s Maria Norman who put in an equalizer for the Frogs. Wow; this should be a good one.

3:15 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — We’ve just had a late equalizer between Chesapeake Great Bridge (Va.) and Purcellville Loudoun Valley (Va.) in the semifinals of the VHSL Class 4 championship. Loudoun Valley gets a late corner but cannot get off a shot; we go to extra time!

3:20 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — It’s full time in Bordentown, and West Essex has beaten Point Pleasant Boro 5-0, jumping all over any mistake they made. It is yet another title for the North Caldwell school and head coach Jill Cosse.

3:25 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — Full time at Stevenson University, where Pocomoke seals a 5-1 win for its 21st MPSSAA state championship.

3:28 p.m., Delmar, Del. — Not to be outdone, it’s full time in Delmar, where the Wildcats beat Woodbridge 12-1 to get into next Wednesday’s state semifinal round.

3:30 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — Ok, this is interesting: The umpires gave a momentary timeout on a defensive penalty corner as a team personnel member from Loudoun Valley fetches a penalty corner mask from 100 yards down the field while a defensive penalty corner is being set up in overtime. I know this is likely allowed as long as there isn’t an unusual delay, but a delay occurred nonetheless.

A later PC phase occurs in the final seconds of the first overtime. Great Bridge is seemingly getting cute in trying to get the optimum pass and shanks it over the end line.

3:35 p.m., Millersville, Pa. — More Pennsylvania overtime drama! Keating Hopkins of Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) scores a goal in double overtime to beat Manheim (Pa.) Township 2-1. This is the first year at Township for head coach Jessica Rose Shellenberger, and I have this feeling future teams will be at an absurdly-good level, given her track record as a player and a coach.

3:45 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — Loudoun Valley breaks in on goal 2-on-1 on the goalkeeper! How did that not go in: A corner the result, but the stop-and-crack is whistled down as dangerous. And now, Loudoun Valley has a green card issued! A late Great Valley power play? Let’s see.

Great Bridge doesn’t so anything with it, so we go penalties to decide the outcome and who goes to tomorrow’s championship game.

Great Bridge scores; Loudoun Valley flips it in; 1-all
Great Bridge eases it in; Loudoun Valley misses 2-1 for GB
Great Bridge scoots it in; Loudoun Valley beats the goalie and misses the cage; 3-1 for GB
Great Bridge shoots wide; Loudoun Valley scores from a tight angle! 3-2 for GB
Great Bridge gets past the goalie and scores! It’s all over

Great Bridge and Loudoun Valley end in a 1-1 draw, but Great Bridge wins 4-2 in a penalty shootout, and will meet Courtland in tomorrow’s final

3:46 p.m. — Here’s something you’ve never heard before. The VHSL semifinals between Fredericksburg Stafford (Va.) and Suffolk Nansemond River (Va.) and between Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) and Ashburn Independence (Va.) have been moved to Spotsylvania Courtland (Va.) because of an area-wide power outage affecting Massaponax (Va.). It’s just a five-mile trip between campuses.

4 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We’re at “game on” in Bordentown for the NJSIAA Group 3 field hockey final between Mullica Hill Clearview (N.J.) and Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.). Last year, North won its first state title in a number of years, a great evolution of a team for head coach Geoff Christman. Clearview is 20-2 on the season, with the lone two losses to Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) who we will see in the 6 p.m. window.

4:20 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — We’re back at Stevenson University for the MPSSAA Class 2A title game. We’re in the second quarter between Glenelg (Md.) and Manchester (Md.) Valley with the game tied 0-0, but Glenelg is on a power play for a green card assessed late in the first quarter.

Glenelg has a corner but the ball is tipped wide by the Mavericks’ defense.

4 35 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — In the NJSIAA Group 3 final, Clearview is showing a propensity for hunting in pairs — but it proves costly as one of its players gets whistled for a green card for not giving five yards on a free hit.

North is trying to figure out the Clearview defense, and they’re on the proverbial struggle bus as they head to the interval goalless.

5 p.m., Hamburg, Pa. — We’re headed to “game on” between No. 2 Emmaus (Pa.) and Honesdale (Pa.) in the PIAA Class AAA Tournament. Two years ago this tie was decided by 11 goals in favor of Emmaus; there’s not much to say the result will be much different today. Senior Rachel Herbine is a rare member of the 40-40 club (48 goals, 42 assists) but she has been receiving man-marking by recent opposition.

Problem is, the team is blessed with great players like Melea Weber, Ava Zerfass, Abby Burnett, goalie Emma Cari and freshman phenom Morgann Orobono.

5:05 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — Glenelg gets a goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter and the Gladiators take a 1-0 lead on a penalty corner! Neat three-way pass play for the putaway in the Maryland Class 2A final.

5 15 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — Minutes later, Clearview gets a 50th-minute goal from Marley Dutch to take a 1-0 lead over North Hunterdon; the defending champions could be dethroned from New Jersey Group 3.

5:18 p.m., Hamburg, Pa. — At the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals, Emmaus is leading Honesdale 2-0 in the first quarter. The two goals were scored in the last five minutes of the first half.

5 20 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — My goodness; Lauren Masters of North Hunterdon breaks into the open and goes in on the goalie, but the goalie makes a tackle and receives the plaudits from her teammates! Less than five minutes remain in the 3A final.

5:25 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — Glenelg gets a second in the final three minutes and it is clear sailing for the Gladiators, who lead Manchester Valley 2-0 in the Maryland 2A state final.

5:28 p.m., Hamburg, Pa. — Emmaus has extended its lead to five in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals, and even though it’s only the 23rd minute, the lead may be too much of an ask.

5 30 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — Untimed corner goal! North Hunterdon’s Lauren Masters, always the inspirational figure for the Lions, has scored to tie the game with no time left in regulation and we go to overtime! Wow!

And how about this? North Hunterdon in the second minute of overtime and Masters with a backhander off the breakaway! Golazo! North wins 2-1 and sends their fans into raptuous applause!

5:35 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif. — Friends, let’s move 3,000 miles west to San Diego. It is the CIF San Diego Section Division 2 championship game between San Diego University City (Calif.) and San Diego Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) The game is tied 0-0 and we’re in overtime!

Rancho Bernardo, who seems to have quite a following in the stands, has a couple of chances in the 68th but cannot find the opening in the circle; we go to a second OT with the game scoreless.

Another Top 11 team played today, and won quite handsomely. It was No. 8 Palmyra (Pa.) besting defending PIAA Class AA state champion Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.) 5-0, and stamping the Cougars as a championship favorite. However, the team has to face Upper Gwynedd Gwynedd-Mercy Academy (Pa.) in the next round.

5:45 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif. — Wow; Rancho Bernardo and University City are headed down to the last minute of overtime in the CIF San Diego Section Division 2 Tournament. Rancho Bernardo has a lot more of the possession and territory, but can’t get off a good-enough goalshot.

The horn sounds and — we don’t declare co-champs! It is a penalty shootout to decide the winner here.

UC lifts it wide; RB kicks the ball; tied 0-0
UC is repelled by the goalie; RB is also repelled; tied 0-0
UC cleverly litfs the ball and bats it in; TB wide; UC leads 1-0
UC collides with the goalie and the ball goes wide; TB huts the post! UC leads 1-0
UC hits the backboard! UC wins the shootout 2-0

With the end of the shootout, the game ends in a goalless draw, but University City wins 2-0 in the penalty shootout.

6:15 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We’re at “game on” between No. 9 Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) in a Group 4 final against Hillsborough (N.J.). Kingway is the team that ended the 22-year reign of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) as state champion, and is trying to win its first state championship since 1983.

Kingsway has had as dominant a postseason as you can imagine. The team beat Millville (N.J.) 11-0, Eastern 7-0, Sewell Washingon Township (N.J.) 4-0, and Toms River (N.J.) North 10-0.

Kingsway gets rewarded for their work in the 13th minute as a ball pinballs into the goal cage thanks to the aim of Karlie Mertz. The Dragons lead 1-0.

Oddly enough, the clock has just malfunctioned and the umpires will keep the time on the pitch.

6:20 p.m., Fredericksburg, Va. — The VHSL Class 3A semifinal between Fredericksburg James Monroe (Va.) and Poquoson (Va.) is set to begin at Fredericksburg Chancellor (Va.). Monroe and Poquoson combined for all small-school titles between 2017 and 2020. The other? Yorktown Tabb (Va.), who is in the other half of the bracket playing against debutant Yorktown York (Va.)

James Monroe with possession and corners in the first phase of play; the Islanders are able to get some touches on defense. But on a redirect, it is Monroe taking a 1-0 lead!

6:25 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — Wham! Kingsway Mary Wordelmann gets a shot from the right side and it angles in! Wow! The Dragons are up 2-0 and are looking to try to seize control of the match here.

But seconds after the brace, Hillsborough looks to pull one back. The option-right is intercepted and cleared. Kingsway had a snowbird but Allie Patel couldn’t get the ball through to the right channel. A 16Y the result for Hillsborough.

6:30 p.m., Fredericksburg, Va. — Suddenly, Poquoson’s 1-0 lead is erased and James Madison is up 2-1. The game is but 12 minutes old and it looks like Monroe is dominating here.

6:40 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — Back at Stevenson University, where Columbia River Hill now holds a 1-0 lead over Crofton (Md.) in the MPSSAA Class 3A final. But just when River Hill may have been feeling comfortable, Crofton gets a fortunate rebound off the goalie pads and fires it home. We’re level in the 10th minute of play!

6:45 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — I would normally say “Upset Alert” whenever Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) is trailing in a state tournament. But Ashburn Independence (Va.) has been one of Loudoun County’s shining stars since the area started playing for keeps about five years ago. They lead Cox 1-0 in the Class 5A semifinal round.

Cox, a multiple state champion, also had a loss to Norfolk (Va.) Academy which featured a “mercy rule’ ending when the score reached 6-1. But the Falcons respond and leel the match at 1-1 late in the second quarter.

6:47 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — What’s this? Hillsborough comes right out of the halftime huddle and gets a goal from Hannah Bianchino as the Kingsway defense was stretched out at the back! Dragons still lead 2-1 in the NJSIAA Group 4 final.

Moments later, Kingsway goes back down Route 1 for its two-goal advantage. Ella Stephenson blasts it in and Kingsway is back up by two.

And another quick goal from Kingsway off a penalty corner; the Dragons are up 4-1.

6:55 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — And with 1:03 left in the first half, Cox has taken a 2-1 lead over Independence. But the Tigers get a late penalty corner. It comes to naught, as the the Falcons take the lead to the locker room.

7 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif. — Back out to California for a spell; the CIF San Diego Division 1 final has Valley Center (Calif.) leading Fallbrook (Calif.) 1-0 in the second quarter. Mind you, the big prize is later tonight in the Open Division.

Valley Center is on an attack penalty corner, looking to double the advantage. The ball is swept into the circle off a foot, and VC is looking for the re-rack. the shot is wide of the cage and a 16Y is the result.

7:05 p.m., Fredericksburg, Va. — Oh, wow. In the opposite VHSL bracket from Poquoson-Madison, Tabb is being merciless on its in-town rival, York. It’s 6-0 for the Tigers at the inception of the second half.

7:15 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — In the VHSL Class 5 semifinal, Independence gets a pair of corners in a phase of play midway through the third quarter, but the Cox defense stayed in its lanes and the Falcons still hold a 2-1 lead.

But here’s an interesting historical milepost. This year, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.), part of the Mill Dam Creek Derby alongside Cox, lost in the first round of the VHSL state tournament to Suffolk Nansemond River. It is only the second time in the last 12 years that one-half of the FC-Cox rivalry has ended the season of the other in the postseason.

We go to the fourth quarter with Cox holding the lead.

7:27 p.m, Bordentown, N.J. — We’re at full time in Bordentown, as Kingsway takes down Hillsborough in the New Jersey Group 4 title. A well-done result for our No. 9 team.

7:30 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif. — In the CIF-San Diego Division 1 championship, Fallbrook (Calif.) pulls level and we’re 1-1 to all to play for, deep in the third period.

7:40 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — We’re level 2-2 between Cox and Independence in the Class 5 semifinal! I thought that Independence, having only five years of experience as a field hockey program, might have wilted against Cox. But not here. This is what the expansion of the sport into Loudoun County has wrought.

There’s 2:09 o the clock, and Independence has a penalty corner. What can they do with this? Well, they got another corner after a Cox foot.

On the re-rack, Cox with the defensive play! And now they can catch the Tigers in the back but they fill the space and stop the danger. The clock will run town to zero, and we’ll have extra time.

Cox with the first good corner chance halfway through the first period of extra time and the Tiger defense defend it well.

7:50 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif. — And it turns out that we’re also in overtime between Fallbrook and Valley Center, some 3,000 miles away at the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 champions. The teams are looking to break, with Fallbrook tracking back to make the steal. But Valley Center smacks it into the goal circle and earns a 65th-minute penalty corner!

Valley Center, as two crows land on the pitch at Carlsbad La Costa Canyon, goes the safe L1 route but the bouncing shot is dealt with by the poster.

7:55 p.m., Spotsylvania, Va. — Uh-oh! Late penalty corner in the 77th minute as Cox is on the attacking circle. A low shot finds a tipping player at the right wing and it finds net! Frank W. Cox lives for another day! What a game and what a gutsy effort from both teams!

You know how we sometimes say that a 2-0 lead is a dangerous one in field hockey? Fredericksburg James Monroe (Va.) found that out in losing 4-3 to Poquoson in the Class 3 semifinals after taking a 2-1 lead. Poquoson will take on Yorktown Tabb tomorrow for the state title.

8 p.m., Owings Mills, Md. — Elsewhere, Crofton (Md.) in only its second year as a varsity program, bested Columbia River Hill 2-1 in the MPSSAA Class 4A title in what has to be a an upset of monumental proportions. Crofton field hockey, until recently, was just a recreational program. But the town, situated only a couple of miles from Bowie, Md., wasn’t content with developing players to send to other schools. Crofton High School opened in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and has done extremely well.

8:10 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif, — We are going to a second overtime now between Fallbrook and Valley Center. Aan in the 74th minute, Fallbrook has a penalty stroke to win the game, but the goalie makes the save. Wow! We play on!

The teams exchange possession in the midfield and the crowd is waiting to see if a mistake is made. With under a half-minute to play in extra time, Valley Center gets a penalty corner. With the clock expired, Valley Center scores on the 1-Up corner! Wow! What a game! Adrielle Flores with the game-winner!

Wow. How many overtimes is this? Eleven!!!!! What a day of field hockey thus far!

Before we go on, here’s the scheme of how postseason field hockey works in the CIF San Diego Section. It used to be one big bracket with all of the teams.

Then, the teams were split into two divisions by enrollment.

But now, a committee picks off the best eight teams and plays them off against each other in what is called the Open Division. The rest go into the Division 1 and Division 2 tournaments

9 p.m., Carlsbad, Calif, — There’s just one more game to play. That’s the CIF Open Division championship between San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) and our No. 3 team, San Diego Canyon Hills (Calif.). Canyon Hills is 25-0 this season, and Torrey Pines is 20-3. The three losses were to Palmyra (Pa.) — who won today in their state tournament — to Winnetka New Trier (Ill.) the winners of the Illinois state title, and once to Canyon Hills.

Canyon Hills is the former Serra, and legendary head coach Laurie Berger retired last year after winning 878 games, second all-time.

And lo, Canyon Hills gets a turn-around cross that finds the middle of the D, and it is tipped into the cage! Just three minutes in, and Canyon Hills leads 1-0.

But with three minutes left in the first quarter, Torrey Pines with a sharp cross, but Canyon Hills’ goalkeeper makes a smart save!

At the inception of the second half, Torrey Pines looks a lot more comfortable on the ball and are plugging up any available space that Canyon Hills is using in the midfield. On one occasion, Torrey Pines skates up the field in about seven seconds, but kicks the ball in the circle in trying to get ready to shoot. The Falcons are a quick team and the Rattlers would do well to remember that.

With 90 seconds left in the third quarter, Canyon Hills gets a corner. They run the shotgun to the 25 but the return pass in the circle went right to the Falcon corner flyer.

And now it looks like Torrey Pines has been awarded a penalty stroke with 15 seconds left in the third. TO with a low shot but an amazing leg save by Canyon Hills’ goalkeeper! Wow!

Torrey Pines is still hammering at the dam in the fourth quarter; a backhander goes wide in the 48th. But Canyon Hills has its own corner, which goes off a foot.

But in a moment which could have changed the game, the umpires change the call as Canyon Hills was milling around setting up for a secondary corner. Meanwhile, Torrey Pines self-started and almost got a breakaway out of it. Only in the playoffs, right?

Add to this a late green card, giving Torrey Pines a two-minute power play. The Falcons try to get in the circle, but Canyon Hills with the direct ball out.

A timeout is called with 4:24 left. This sectional final couldn’t also go to overtime … could it?

Torrey Pines to the penalty corner arc; let’s see if they can equalize …. the insert is flubbed, but the Falcons rescue it, ping it off the post, and the rebounds goes in! We are tied 1-1 with under four minutes left in regulation! Wow!

But now, thanks to a rebound off the TP goalie’s pad, Canyon Hills has a last second corner which is gloved by the goalie and goes in! But there is discussion among the umpires, and the goal is given! Ten seconds on the clock! What an effort by Canyon Hills, who were seemingly somnambulant for large parts of the game, but woke up in time.

The horn goes for full time, with Canyon Hills winning the game and capping off a 26-0 season with a 2-1 win in the CIF San Diego Section’s Open Division Tournament. What a game! Even with 11 overtimes (and a couple we haven’t even mentioned), that might have been the game of the day.

Thanks for making it this far. Tomorrow, we have state finals in New York and Virginia, plus the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Tournament.