No. 2 OV field hockey loses heartbreaker
BRANDON — The No. 2 Otter Valley Union High School field hockey team lost a heartbreaker to visiting No. 7 Harwood on Saturday by the slimmest of margins, 1-0, in a Division II upset.
The two teams were well-matched going into the quarterfinal match, OV at 11-3 and defending champion Harwood at 9-5, and that showed on the field. Both teams played fierce defense, particularly in the first half, which was played almost entirely at midfield. But the only score of the game came when Harwood’s Lauren McMann converted an assist from Sarah Wry with 5:44 left in the half.
OV came out strong and determined in the second half, creating several scoring opportunities but unable to convert. Harwood had four penalty corners, while OV had 13.
In the end, time ran out for the Otters: Despite several near goals and intense pressure in the second half, they were unable to score.
Harwood keeper Martha McKenna had six saves, while OV’s Myliah McDonough had three.
OV coach Stacey Edmunds-Brickell did not hide her disappointment, but acknowledged it was a quality game.
“I feel good about the season, but it’s just such a letdown,” she said. “These girls wanted it so badly. This is a great group of girls, and they are a family on and off the field. An 11-4 record is something to be proud of.”
The Otters also won the Marble Valley League championship, which they share with Bellow Falls.
Saturday’s upset was not surprising given the intense competition in D-II this year. No. 1 Rice entered the playoffs 12-0-2, No. 3 Mount Abe at 7-3-3, and No. 4 Windsor and No. 5 U-32 were each 9-4-1.
“If you looked at the rankings, as you went down, the teams still had great records,” Edmunds-Brickell said. “It’s a good division.”
U-32 will face Rice on Tuesday and Harwood will face Mount Abe on Wednesday in the semifinals.
As for OV, Edmunds-Brickell called it a season to remember.
“We had a fabulous season, and I could not be more proud of this group of student-athletes,” she said. “I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn and achieve with this team and cherish every day that we have spent on the field representing Otter Valley.”
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