VESTAL, N.Y. — As the ball crossed the line, Ward Melville’s Lexi Reinhardt jumped for joy. She scored with 23 seconds remaining the first half and the Patriots held on to beat Baldwinsville, 1-0, for a berth in the state Class A field hockey championship.
Ward Melville, making its second state championship appearance in three years, plays Maine-Endwell for the crown at noon on Sunday.
“It’s a great feeling,” Reinhardt said. “We had a lot of pressure up there for the entire half, so being able to finish it with 23 seconds left on the clock is a good thing to go to the second half with, and it carried through the whole game.”
Shannon Coughlan notched the assist. The Ward Melville defense allowed only one shot on goal from Baldwinsville for the first half.
But in the second half, the Patriots were able to swipe a ball away from the cage with 23:47 to play and then again in the final 10 seconds by Sydney Tasman to preserve the win.
Last season, Ward Melville fell, 2-1 in overtime, to Shenendehowa in the semifinals. “Last year we lost in this game, so being able to improve and do better than last year is just a great accomplishment,” Reinhardt said. “The whole team worked so hard to come to this point and hopefully we’ll be able to finish it [Sunday].”
Meghan Lorenzen made 10 saves for the Patriots. Hailey Boda had nine stops for Baldwinsville.
Lorenzen made a stop off a deflection after a penalty corner opportunity from Baldwinsville with 4:15 remaining in the first half, and a kick stop with 2:06 left to preserve what was a scoreless tie at the time.
“I don’t think we were challenged that much in the first half, but it was great that when the time came to it, our goalie and our defensive unit was able to really step up big that last 15 minutes, especially with 10 seconds left on the clock so it made a huge difference,” Ward Melville coach Shannon Sioss said.
Ward Melville has won one state championship, in 2008.