King Philip junior Dana Truini scored the game-winning goal just over halfway through double overtime to help the second-seeded Warriors edge #18 Franklin, 3-2, at Macktaz Field.
“It’s really tough [to play a team three times], that’s why I was worried about this,” said KP head coach Liz Hathaway. “I thought we had them when we scored in the first couple of minutes and I thought we were on a roll. Then they executed a great game plan. They force us to play a big ball game. Instead of working on possession and transfers, we kept trying to go big and they stepped up to intercept and go on the counter-attack. We did better with that in the second half.
King Philip swept the regular season series, but the Panthers used all 30 minutes of each half to keep the game level.
First, it was scoring the tying goal to make it 1-0 with less than a minute to play in the first half.
And then in dramatic fashion, the Panthers knotted the scored at 2-2 with just 10.4 seconds to play in regulation, sending the game to overtime.
“I’m really proud of my kids, really proud of them,” said Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper. “The first two games in the regular season were close, the scores weren’t indicative how close the games were. And another close one today.
“A couple kids just played absolutely amazing. Amanda Lewandowski, a freshman, was all over the field, just fantastic. What can you say about Cassi? She played everywhere and everything, she was right on the whole time. And my goalie, [Christina Luccini], played a great game. They all did.”
After a scoreless first overtime period that featured end to end action, and scoring chances for both sides, the Warriors started to take control.
Franklin goalie Christina Luccini robbed Truini just two minutes into the second overtime period, making a point-blank save on a rebound chance.
KP finally beat Luccini on a cross just over seven minutes into double overtime, but Franklin defender Emily Valentino was in the right spot and kept Truini from getting a touch.
Before the Warriors put their sixth penalty corner into motion, Hathaway called a timeout, setting up a play.
Nicole Connor sent the corner to the stick of Furfari, who patiently waited before connecting a cross to the weak side where Truini buried it with a one-timer for the winner.
“I knew out seven on seven unit was really good because we just practiced it the other day in a scrimmage with Dover-Sherborn,” Hathaway said. “I knew if we could develop a three on two, or get some corners. Then I used the timeout so we could just calm down and execute the set play.
“The cross was set up to create a little scrum or tip to the weak side, and it worked out, and it was awesome.”
Franklin sent to game to overtime with a late corner. Cassi Ronan lifted a cross that fell into the area, and junior Regan Paterson pounced on the loose ball in the scrum and tied the game with 10.4 to play.
The biggest stop of the game came in the final minutes of the first overtime period. A foot infraction was whistled against KP, and Franklin’s Victoria Quinn smartly hit the restart quickly, sending in junior Anni Walsh behind the defense.
But KP senior goalie Abby Campbell was quick off her line and came sliding out to make the stop.
Abby had some really smart goalkeeping decisions coming out and clearing over the sideline,” Hathaway said. “Kate Lindmark, Emma Izydorczak, Sammy Robison….they all played well, our defense was really strong.”
King Philip had a strong start to the contest, scoring on its first penalty corner of the game just over three minutes in. Furfari found Connor wide open in front of goal for an easy tap in a 1-0 lead.
Campbell made saves on Ronan in the 9th minute and then turned aside a chance from Walsh after she beat two defenders in the 13th minute.
Franklin continued its pressure, having the better of play after KP took the lead. Finally, with just 50 seconds left, Ronan used a looping shot off a corner that hit off a KP stick and in to make it 1-1 heading into the half.
Both teams had chances throughout the second half, with KP having the edge in play. Ronan’s hard shot through traffic was denied by Campbell in the 34th minute; Hathaway had a bid turned aside by Luccini in the 47th minute; and Luccini blocked a tough angle bid from Raegan Simeone in the 54th minute.
But KP earned a corner shortly after Simeone’s shot and took advantage. Connor connected with Furfari, who passed along to Hathaway straightaway from goal. Franklin’s defense nearly sniffed it out, just missing an interception on the pass, and Hathaway ripped a low bouncing shot that found the back of the cage for a 2-1 lead with 6:12 to play.
King Philip field hockey (16-2-1) advances to the next round of the D1 South tournament and will host #7 Needham. The game is currently scheduled for Monday, November 6th at 3:45.
Franklin finishes the season at 10-8-2, and the end of the year also marks the end of Cropper’s tenure as head coach. Cropper spent a total of 14 years with the program, the last eight as head coach. She was hired as head coach at Dean College earlier this Fall.
“The program gets great numbers, we started to get better athletes too,” Cropper said, giving credit to her assistant coaches, including former head coach Michelle Hess, and former assistant Kevin Cronin. “And the feeder program with Ryan Jette really helped a lot. So all those people I have to thank, and they deserve credit for the success of the program, it’s not just me. I like to think that I hopefully inspired the kids. “