A 1-0 OT win against Maple Shade on Friday sends the Pirates field hockey team to the Central, Group 1 sectional semis.
#5 Cinnaminson will visit #1 Haddonfield on Tuesday, November 1 at 4pm.
The Pirates and Wildcats played a third straight defensive battle on Friday that saw Cinnaminson come out on top for the first time this season.
“I knew that our struggle today was just going to be able to score,” head coach Gina Quaranta said. “I was very happy to see our girls dominating over the offensive 25. I knew it was going to be a close day.”
“We played a lot of hard teams on the schedule this year,” defender SaraBeth Coyle said. “‘Q’ wanted that so we were ready for hard playoff games. Our schedule definitely prepared us for today.”
Friday was much of the same as the game moved to overtime with a 0-0 score.
“Defense was a really big focus for us so they didn’t get it into our defensive 25,” Coyle said. “The defense was very strong today.”
Cinnaminson dominated possession in the first half, allowing Maple Shade to move the ball across midfield just a couple of times.
“They (defense) have a quiet, focused confidence about them,” Quaranta said. “They have improved a great amount this year in tracking the ball into their stick and pushing it back up to their middies.”
The second half was a much more equally played game, as both teams had multiple chances to score on corners.
With just 10 minutes remaining in regulation the Pirates called a timeout to regroup following an onslaught of corners by the Wildcats.
“It was awesome for us to not have had a goal there,” Quaranta said. “I’m so proud of the defense for keeping it out. I had to take a timeout after that to collect ourselves.”
Cinnaminson had a couple of scoring chances late in the second half, but could not convert, moving the game to overtime at 0-0.
“We were thinking overtime and prepping for strokes this week,” Coyle said. “We were hoping it was going to be done in regular time, but we were prepared for overtime. We were ready, really hyped for this. We’re ready for the next round.”
The clock ticked down to under three minutes left in 7v7 overtime when Cinnaminson moved the ball into the Wildcats circle.
Maple Shade could not clear and a scrum in front of the cage ensued. Maura Tumelty found the ball and sent it past keeper Dana Sheply for the winner with 1:49 left on the clock.
“The ball just came across and it found my stick,” Tumelty said. “I hit it as hard as I could and aimed for the corner of the cage. It just worked out.
The Pirates bench rushed the field to surround Tumelty, who scored the biggest goal of her career in her second season as a varsity starter.
“It was just pure happiness,” Tumelty said. “It felt great. This is huge. I’m just happy we beat them after losing and tying. I felt we really deserved this win against them.”
The Pirates are now 11-5-2. Maple Shade falls to 10-6-1.
Cinnaminson and Haddonfield met in the Central, Group 1 sectional semifinals in 2015 with the Bulldogs coming away 10-0 winners en route to a sectional title.
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