The seventh-ranked Centreville field hockey team played second-ranked Chantilly close during the first round of the Concorde District tournament. They withstood 14 penalty corners, keeping the Chargers scoreless during the 60 minutes of regulation. They only slipped up once during the 15-minute overtime period. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that slip-up was a season-ending goal.
“We had a hell of a game defensively,” said Centreville head coach Meghan Doran. “Our goalie [Jessica Miller] had a great game. She made a lot of key saves.”
Chantilly coach Ralph Chapman, whose team lost in the first round of the tournament last year, was worried that his team would come out apprehensive.
“You have to survive the first game. You have to get your jitters down. You have to get all that stuff out of you and if you survive the first game, hopefully your team settles down and plays steadier,” he said.
TIED UP AT zero in the second period, Chantilly received one of their many penalty corners with 19 seconds left. Senior Katie Germain passed the ball up to senior forward Lindsay Arnsmeyer, who stroked it into the cage. The hit was ruled a goal and the Chargers began to celebrate their 1-0 lead. But the referees reversed their call, saying that the ball was too high and the goal was nullified.
“I was afraid that they would just fall apart and they didn’t,” said Chapman.
Chantilly received eight more penalty corners in the final 18 minutes, but was unable to punch it in.
“Our flyer, Sarah Murphy, is very strong,” said Doran. “Our trailer is Jenny Riedel. They are very effective. If one doesn’t get it, the other is right behind.”
Centreville was able to get control of the ball throughout the game and put pressure on the Chargers’ goal, but were also unable to get a score on the board throughout the two regulation periods.
“Unfortunately, when you get down to it, a common theme that we’ve had this season, we just couldn’t put it in,” said Doran.
IN THE SEVEN-ON-SEVEN overtime period, Chantilly came out strong, taking control of the ball and attacking the Centreville cage immediately. Focused almost entirely on offense, the Chargers almost gave up a breakaway to the Wildcats twice, but the lone defenseman, senior Colleen Gallivan, stopped both attacks.
“If she doesn’t stop that, it is a one-on-one with the goalie,” said Chapman. “She does a great job for us.”
With three minutes of steady pressure in overtime, the Chargers finally punched the ball in. Arnsmeyer, whose first goal was deemed too high, kept the ball low and stroked it past Miller, advancing the Chargers into the second round of the tournament.
“I have a knack for scoring,” said Arnsmeyer after the game.
For the Wildcats, the loss kicked them out of the tournament but showed the team that they have the potential to play with anyone.
“We were getting there, but not putting enough pressure in the circle.” said Doran, who is graduating five seniors this year. “We are close. We are in the game. We just need to go that extra step.”