VESTAL, N.Y. — The Ward Melville field hockey team had its chances Saturday in the opening minutes of overtime but couldn’t capitalize and fell, 2-1, to Shenendehowa in the state Class A semifinals.
With 7:08 remaining in overtime, Kelly Buckley scored the winning goal off a penalty corner to propel Shenendehowa at Vestal High School.
Ward Melville found itself in unfamiliar territory just 6:58 into the match, falling behind by a goal for only the second time this season.
Taryn Marra put Shenendehowa (20-0) in front 1-0 after receiving a pass from Buckley in front of the net and burying the shot into the goal. Ward Melville (20-1) managed three shots on goal in the first half, but was unable to convert those chances.
“We were playing really frantic and we knew we had to calm down,” junior midfielder Kate Mulham said of her team’s first- half performance. “We knew the potential and the level of play that we could achieve and we knew we weren’t playing at that level.”
Mulham and her teammates found a way to calm their nerves in the second half and with 19:57 remaining, Mulham ripped a rebound shot into the goal to tie the score at 1.
“I firmly believed that we were just as good as Shenendehowa after the end of the first half,” Ward Melville coach Shannon Sioss said. “We had a few more opportunities than they did and I just wanted us to capitalize on them.”
Ward Melville goalkeeper Bella Nelin, who made four saves in the game, stopped two potential Shenendehowa goal-scoring chances with just under six minutes remaining in regulation to keep the score tied.
“I don’t think I could have asked for much more from this team,” Sioss said. “After being down 1-0 the girls gave everything they had until the final whistle. I wanted it so badly for them, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way today. We had a phenomenal season and the girls should be extremely proud of that.”