The #7 seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College Field Hockey team picked up their first-ever postseason victory, a 2-1 double overtime thriller, over #2 seed Adelphi University in the Northeast-10 Quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon at Motamed Field in Garden City, NY.
Both squads played a largely even opening thirty minutes, as the Panthers and Spartans each took six shots apiece, with STAC goalie Suzanne Clarke having to make four saves and Adelphi netminder Stephanie Peragallo making two stops. The scoreboard remained all zeros as the teams retreated to their respective benches for halftime.
After the break it would be Adelphi University who would strike first, as off of a turnover by the Spartans, Bianca Bachisin would make a hard slap pass to teammate Kaylee Deleva, who would take a shot toward the Spartan net. The ball would subsequently roll past goaltender Suzanne Clarke and be put home by Elissa Frein for her 11th of the season, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The slim margin would stand true as the buzzer would sound to end the stanza.
The visiting Spartans would battle to even things up in the fourth quarter, and would do so a little over six minutes into the final period of regulation, when Lisa Larsson would fire a shot toward the Adelphi cage and in an ensuing net-mouth scramble teammate Lotte Strijbos would poke the ball past goalie Stephanie Peragallo to even things at one goal apiece. The score would remain deadlocked through the final nine minutes forcing overtime to decide the quarterfinal match-up.
In the first overtime, each team would get their fair share of opportunities to end the game, with Adelphi getting the better of the chances. However, it would be the stingy Spartan defense and superb goaltending of Suzanne Clarke that would keep the score even through the first ten minutes of the extra session.
After a quick breather, the teams would return to the field for the second overtime period. Again, it would be the home team Panthers that would get a slew of quality chances to end the match, but it would be the STAC backend and goalie Clarke that would come up huge to keep the game even. The game-winning goal would come with just under two minutes remaining, as off of a Lotte Strijbos penalty corner, Briannah Thorne would fire a backhand shot past Adelphi keeper Peragallo for her 13th of the season, giving St. Thomas Aquinas the 2-1 sudden-death victory.
Watch Briannah Thorne's Game-Winning Double Overtime Goal vs. Adelphi
STAC goalie Suzanne Clarke (W, 9-9) made 18 saves on the afternoon, while her counterpart in the Adelphi net, Stephanie Peragallo (L, 9-3) made 8 saves.
Saint Anselm held large margins in both shots, 31-18 and penalty corners, 20-8 for the game.
#7 seed St. Thomas Aquinas (10-9, 7-7 NE-10) will now advance in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. The Spartans semifinal opponent will be the 3-seeded Southern New Hampshire University Penmen (16-3, 12-2 NE-10). The playoff match-up will take place on Friday, November 8th at 6pm at Larkin Field in Manchester, NH. During regular season play, the Penmen defeated the Spartans by a score of 2-1 in overtime at SNHU on October 12th.
2019 NE10 Field Hockey Championship Schedule
Tuesday, Nov. 5
Game 1: #8 Franklin Pierce 0 at #1 Saint Anselm 2 (Final)
Game 2: #7 St. Thomas Aquinas 2 at #2 Adelphi 1 (Final/2OT)
Game 3: #6 Bentley 1 at #3 Southern New Hampshire 2 (Final/2OT)
Game 4 #5 Assumption 1 at #4 Stonehill 0 (Final)
Friday, November 8
Semifinals - at higher seeds
Game 5: #5 Assumption at #1 Saint Anselm - TBA
Game 6: #7 St. Thomas Aquinas at #3 Southern New Hampshire - 6PM
Sunday, November 10
Championship (to be held at highest remaining seed)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner - 1 PM