Lynchburg Va. – The Shenandoah Field Hockey team edged out the Lynchburg Hornets in an overtime thriller 2-1 on Shellenberger Field during the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) semifinal round. The loss knocks the Hornets out of the ODAC Tournament as they will have to wait until Monday to see if they qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Shenandoah brought the pressure early and often as they had Lynchburg senior goalkeeper Beka Hess diving every which direction. The SU attack began right from the whistle when they got in the Hornet zone and drew a penalty corner that sent Hess diving to make a save followed by another team save off the rebound. Just a couple of minutes later Shenandoah took another penalty corner which was followed by three continuous saves for Hess. Shenandoah would break through the Hornet defense four minutes into the game when Taylor Little knocked in a rebound with Kayla Alderman getting the assist for SU.
Lynchburg would get its attack going during the 20th minute when sophomore Nikki Simpao fired a shot from the top of the point that grazed the Shenandoah's goalkeeper Jessica Brown's leg pad. Hess was able to keep the deficit at one goal when she made a filly sprawled out save during the 20th minute and the Hornets fed off the energy as junior Lacey Elliot attacked the net and ripped a shot that once again deflected off the keeper Alderman's leg pad. SU would take a 1-0 lead over Lynchburg heading into halftime as they held an 11-6 advantage in shots while Hess made eight saves.
Much like Shenandoah in the first half, Lynchburg came out of the half applying pressure to the Shenandoah defense. Simpao led the Hornet attack creating opportunities in from of the SU net but was unable to convert them to goals in the opening minutes. During the 30th minute Simpao had a goal disallowed as it struck the top left corner of the net but it was ruled too high. Just three minutes later sophomore Kayla Copeman assisted Simpao to give the Hornets their first goal of the game and even the game at one. The game saw physicality much like the last game when the teams picked up a combined four green cards in an eight-minute span during the 49th minute through the 57th minute. A defensive showing came about in the game's last 15 minutes of regulation before Lynchburg junior Karissa LeMaire took a penalty corner with the scoreboard showing zeroes. LeMaire would deliver the ball into the box where junior Hannah Krause would send a shot that went short and wide as the game was headed to overtime.
Shenandoah controlled the opening minutes of overtime before Morgan Payne took the periods first and last penalty corner where she found Taylor Hayes who buried the game winner at the 10:37 mark in overtime to end the game. Hess finished the game with nine saves with many of them being acrobatic while Shenandoah added five.
Shenandoah advances to play Washington & Lee for the ODAC championship tomorrow on Shellenberger Field with a start time of 6:30 p.m. Lynchburg will have to wait until Monday to see if they have done enough to earn an at-large NCAA tournament berth.