North Hunterdon field hockey works OT to claim 2nd straight H/W/S title over Warren Hills

Lauren Masters had a pasta dinner deliberate for Saturday evening. Luckily, she picked up a brand new dish that morning.

“I’ve got my silver plate ready to go,” the North Hunterdon field hockey senior joked whilst retaining the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Most Valuable Player trophy.

Masters used to be kidding about consuming off her award. She may just, then again, use the carbohydrates of a pasta banquet after operating extra time on Saturday.

The senior scored the game-winning function in OT to propel fifth-seeded North Hunterdon to a 2-1 victory over second-seeded Warren Hills within the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex ultimate at Singley Field.

It’s the second one straight H/W/S title for the Lions, whose best different county field hockey titles got here right through the primary two years of the Hunterdon/Warren Tournament in 1985-86.

“It’s amazing,” senior Sara Roberts stated. “It’s surreal to go back to back.”

Despite letting a 1-0 lead slip away, North Hunterdon (12-4) used to be assured about its probabilities with the 7-on-7 extra time structure.

“I love it. I was exhausted – let me tell you – but I was super excited to play (7-on-7),” Masters stated. “The field is much more open, and you get to do more things. I get to use my speed … We got give-and-goes working between the forwards and it worked really well.”

“Ignore that voice (in your head) of being exhausted,” Lions trainer Geoffrey Chrisman informed his gamers. “They went out there, and they ignored it. The space during 7-on-7, it lets our athletes be athletes even more. I knew we’d have an advantage if we could get out and run; we just had to finish.”

Masters, together with classmate Maggie Sampson, generated probability after probability in OT. Warren Hills junior goalie Sydney White became away a handful of photographs from Masters to stay the Blue Streaks (10-3) within the sport.

“We’re pretty comfortable,” Roberts stated about going 7 vs. 7. “We’re an athletic team, so running usually is not a problem for us. We can keep our intensity up.”

In the last 30 seconds of the additional length, Masters – upon a proposal from the training group of workers – attempted a special completing manner. The 2021 Field Hockey Player of the Year pulled the ball round White, had her shot stored and punched within the rebound.

Warren Hills tied the competition within the 3rd quarter by means of making the most of its first penalty nook of the morning. Sophomore Shivya Desai, who had a perfect sport in protection, took a feed from classmate Gianna Cioni and blasted a low shot into the left aspect of the function cage.

It used to be the end result of the primary sustained offensive drive the Blue Streaks generated, thank you largely to a contemporary batch of underclassmen.

“Two freshmen and a sophomore came off my bench and really were an incredible spark on my forward line, so they stayed,” Warren Hills trainer Josie Potter stated. “Sammi Heinrich, Rylie Wyckoff and Katie Conklin subbed in, and they really started changing the momentum. We started getting a little bit more of an offensive push. I’m a firm believer that if something is working, you don’t mess with it.”

North Hunterdon regained regulate within the ultimate length and had a couple of alternatives to finish the sport in legislation, together with a couple of photographs from sophomore Emmy Wrba. White, who completed with 15 saves, made play after play to stay the ranking tied.

“My girls fought right to the bitter end. My goalie, Sydney White, it was probably the best game I’ve ever seen her play,” Potter stated. “She was phenomenal. She had five saves in overtime on breakaways. She’s great, and I’ve got her for another year.”

The Lions, who completed with 12 corners when compared to Warren Hills’ 3, had a vivid get started that briefly resulted within the sport’s opening function right through the primary quarter.

A nook discovered its method to junior Molly Claus, who handed to classmate Kendall Varty. Varty whipped a shot from the top-right of the circle to the a long way nook of the cage, striking the Lions forward 1-0 after fewer than 5 mins of play.

Warren Hills, which additionally fell to North in closing season’s county ultimate, will check out to take the positives from Saturday and follow them to the house stretch of the common season. The Streaks lately lead the Skyland Conference Raritan Division.

“If they play the way they did for a good portion of today for the remainder of our season, we’re going to sail right into states,” Potter stated. “… That effort, that heart and passion, that’s all a coach can ask for.”

As the 5th seed, the Lions have been the “away” crew Saturday on their house field, which used to be the predetermined website of the county ultimate. North’s seed used to be extra a manufactured from its tough time table than anything, nevertheless it nonetheless served as a motivator for the gamers.

“It’s very exciting,” Masters stated. “We’re the underdogs, which makes it 10 times better.”

The Lions have been No. 6 in the newest scores. Warren Hills used to be No. 7. The Blue Streaks, regardless that, have been No. 8 in’s newest Top 20; North used to be No. 16 – assisting its underdog mentality.

“Being the fifth seed, it definitely fueled a fire in us,” stated Roberts, who used to be a pressure in the course of the field. “We wanted to win so bad; we just wanted it.”

Now, North will center of attention on keeping up its momentum earlier than protecting every other championship: the Group 3 title.

“Our message going into this year was, let’s create consistency in the program,” Chrisman stated. “We didn’t want to be a one-off of success … Securing this (county title) is a step in the right direction, but we have a lot of things left on the table that we have to work toward.”

“We just have to be relaxed,” Masters added. “This is our favorite sport; this is what we love to do. We step on the field and our mind is clear of everything else outside of field hockey. We just have to go into it enjoying the process and having fun, and we’ll be successful – like we are today.”

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