Sabers reap benefits of working OT in 3-2 win over Cavs

HOLLIS – Working overtime can be great for one’s bank account, but the only way it benefits a high school field hockey team is if it profits by a win.

We bring you the Souhegan field hockey team, which has played three extra session games this season, including Tuesday night’s 3-2 dramatic win over Hollis Brookline.

Ella Russell scored with 52 seconds left in the sudden death, 7 on 7 overtime, assisted by Oriannah Dart, finishing off a 3-on-1 break that followed an HB scoring chance at the other end. Cavs goalie Raegan Kline, who made a game-saving stop in the final minute of regulation, was left defenseless.

“Our third overtime game,” Russell said, the Sabers now 2-1 in those games.

“Ori made a great assist to me. I was right on the post, I was ready for that ball and hit it right in there.”

“Playing a full 60 minutes – or beyond, if we’e going to keep doing this – is so important,” Souhegan coach Kelli Braley said. “We were fortunate to catch a break on Hollis’ corner, they were heavy offensively. It’s golden goal, all you have to do is put it in. But having only one back allowed us the opportunity for a 3-on-1 and we buried it.”

That either team had enough left in the tank to play nearly 70 minutes in the heat and humidity was amazing. The Sabers (3-1) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Ariana Goulet and Dart with 8:43 and 2:10 left in the opening quarter.

But lo and behold, the Cavs (0-2) responded with two of their own in the second quarter, the first by Nya Jernberg and the second by Katrina Lee off a wild deflection that Saber goalie

And, despite the Cavs dominating the time of possession and holding the Sabers to just one penalty corner the whole game, it stayed that way through regulation.

“I’m happy with the way we finished, but not 100 percent happy with the way we started,” HB coach Greg Cochrane said. “I thought we were resilient, and after halftime came out and played like we want to play … It wasn’t the result we wanted, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.

“It only takes one. You can see how both teams were starting to feel a long, hard-fought game, you see how benches get shorter, players get gassed … I thought we held up a little better, but certainly that breakdown at the end wasn’t what we were looking for.”

Souhegan’s Oriannah Dart, left, battles HB’s Ella Marcum for the ball during Tuesday night’s key Division II clash in Hollis. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

Still, the Sabers were able to survive.

“HB just kept on coming,” Braley said. “I don’t think we took our foot off the gas, we maybe were gassed. They came absolutely roaring back, and it frazzled us a little bit.”

“We didn’t know what was coming,” Russell said. “It was intense.”

It sure was, with a tourney-type atmosphere. Remember, the Sabers were in the finals last year and HB was in the semis,and have had to start off the season vs. champion John Stark and runnerup Souhegan. HB lost just four regualars to graduation and conversely Braley feels the best is yet to come for her team.

“We had our opportunities in the end,” Cochrane said, “but they got the one that mattered.”