Holding a 1-0 lead, King Philip head coach Liz Hathaway thought about using her timeout to try and give her defensive group a breather to settle down. But instead of giving the Raiders a chance to draw something up, she put full trust in her defense and goalie.
The first corner had a shot from Somerset-Berkley defender Alex Millar blocked by a KP defender’s foot, giving the Raiders another chance. That ensuing corner found its way around the area but was blocked away at the near post by Campbell.
With just two minutes to go, the Raiders had another corner but once again KP’s defense stood tall and the Warriors walked away with a 1-0 win to win the D1 South Sectional title.
“I was contemplating taking a timeout with two minutes left to get them to settle but I kind of wanted to get a big out to get some momentum and they ended up doing that,” Liz Hathaway said.
“I totally trust my team defense and my keeper. I knew in that situation, that they are prepared whatever came at us. They got a flurry of corners but I just believed in them and they got the job done. They knew what was at stake.”
Despite Somerset-Berkley having an 11-1 advantage in penalty corners in the second half alone, Campbell and the Warriors notched the shutout.
“We know we have to keep our composure, and we practice defending multiple corners in a row at practices,” Campbell said. “Coach trusts every single one of us, whether you’re on the sideline or on the field, she trusts us. I think it says a lot about this team and our chemistry. We’re always amping each other up to just clear the next one.”
After a start that featured little offense from either side, King Philip started to take control.
Sammy Robison took away a partial breakaway chance from Lucas Crook in the eighth minute, and Crook blasted a shot wide on the Raiders’ lone corner of the half.
“We just wanted to play Somerset-Berkley, the team,” Liz Hathaway said. “We wanted to avoid all the other stuff (Somerset-Berkley has two male players in the starting lineup) and just focus on our game. We didn’t really make any adjustments for them, we knew what to expect how they played, and we did it. We played great team defense.
Beyond that, the ball was mostly in KP’s attacking area. The first shot on goal came 18 minutes into the game when Christina Hathaway rifled a low shot that forced a big kick save from SB keeper Madison Ferrara.
KP had an 8-1 advantage on corners in the first half but only had two shots on target.
The Raiders had the first chance of the second half on a long shot from Camryn Crook but Campbell did well to come out and made a big kick clearance.
King Philip turned that save into a counterattack flying up the field with some numbers. After slowing possession down in the offensive third, junior Alli Meehan ended up with the ball on her just outside the area. She used her speed to weave past a pair of defenders and release a shot on target.
The ball beat the goalie but was stopped by a defender’s stick just on the goal line, but the rebound popped right to Nicole Connor, who wasted little time depositing her shot into the cage.
“We knew we wanted to win in regulation and not going into 7-v-7 because from what I understand, they have two of the six field players who are faster and stronger. We didn’t want to get into that situation.
“That’s the game of field hockey, 1-0 never seems like enough but today it was.”
Connor’s goal came with just over 15 minutes to play. The Raiders earned over half of their 11 penalty corners after KP took the lead.
“It’s exciting to get the lead, but we treat it like its 0-0 because we don’t want to have a let up or a breakdown on defense,” Campbell said. “It’s a bit of a relief to get the lead but we know they’re going to come back that much harder at us so we have to be ready.”
King Philip field hockey (19-2-1) advances to the D1 State Semifinal to take on North sectional champion, Andover (20-0-1) on Tuesday, November 14th at Braintree High School at 5:00 PM.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we do and what works for us,” Liz Hathaway said. “We’ll do a little bit of scouting on the teams from the North. We’ll just keep playing our game, this is a loose team that knows how to turn it on at game time.”