Michelle Mangini, Allison Buser lead Babylon field hockey

Babylon's Michelle Mangini drills the game-winning goal past Babylon's Michelle Mangini drills the game-winning goal past Port Jefferson's goalie Tammy Serabian. (Sept. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Richard Slattery

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After Allison Buser kicked away that roller headed toward the left corner, she screamed. Then Michelle Mangini, along with the rest of Babylon's field hockey team, screamed.

They all screamed for ice cream. Well, the victory also had something to do with that.

Mangini scored and Buser made the clutch save as Babylon edged host Port Jefferson, 2-1, in sudden victory penalty strokes Thursday in a non-league game.

Kerry Glenday's stroke had tied it at 2 in the first round and forced sudden victory for Babylon, which won on strokes, 3-2. Mangini sent a line drive into the upper right corner that clanged loudly off the back post.

"By overtime, most of us were really tired and, I don't know why, but I was really nervous," Mangini admitted, as her teammates standing nearby teased. But it was all in, umm, good humor. "I knew we had to get this done, and afterward it was just so exciting."

In part because the players fulfilled their end of the bargain with coach Catherine York, who promised to reward them with a trip to the nearest ice cream parlor. A popular ice cream chain had a free cone promotion that lasted until 7 p.m. Thursday night. With the overtime session and two rounds of penalty strokes, Babylon cut it close.

Port Jefferson's play was a big factor in that. Glenday put the Panthers (3-2) on the board 4:47 in, but Shannon Walsh took a pass from Teresa Gomes and tied it at 1 with 21:08 left in the first half for the Royals (0-3).

The defenses took control from there -- with a sprinkling of stellar goalie play. Port Jefferson's Tammy Serabian made 11 saves, two in strokes. Buser (four saves) subbed out in the second half but had to check back in when Haley Watt injured her shin with 10 minutes left in regulation.

"Once I saw Haley go down, I knew I'd have to go back in," Buser said. "I was worried for her but I had to stay focused. You've gotta do what you've gotta do."

Excitement is nothing new for Babylon. The defending Suffolk Class C champs made a surprise title run last season, winning low-scoring, high-tension games.

So how do they unwind? "Vanilla," Glenday said. "And I'm getting it with rainbow sprinkles!"

And that's the scoop.

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