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Penalties, Then a Reward: Hanover Outlasts Plymouth in Shootout

  • Hanover field hockey teammates, from left, Aiden Stone, Natalie Chapman, Ella Edmonds and Katrina Randall, leap off the center line to celebrate after winning their NHIAA Division II quarterfinal 2-1 during a round of sudden death penalty corners in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover goalie Ella Edmonds deflects a shot by Plymouth's Olivia Eastman during their NHIAA Division II quarterfinal in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Hanover won 2-1 in sudden death penalty corners. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Anna Stafford, of Hanover, watches a tense moment of defense for the Marauders during overtime in their NHIAA Division II quarterfinal game with Plymouth in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Hanover won 2-1 in sudden death penalty corners. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Aiden Stone, of Hanover, right, clears the ball up the sideline as Emma Campbell, of Plymouth, left, attempts to block during their NHIAA Division II quarterfinal in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Hanover won 2-1 in sudden death penalty corners. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hanover — Converting just one out of 18 penalty corners typically would be considered a disappointment for the Hanover High field hockey team. Saturday’s NHIAA Division II quarterfinal game at Merriman-Branch field, however, was far-from typical.

Tied, 1-1, after 60 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, the No. 4 Marauders (11-2-2) needed a penalty corner shootout to get past No. 5 Plymouth (11-3-1), 2-1.

Hanover’s defense denied the Bobcats on their first penalty corner before the Marauder offense took over and scored an apparent goal, which referees quickly waved off. Round 2 saw Hanover and its dominant goalie, Ella Edmonds, make another stop before the home offense got another shot.

Jasmine Lou, a senior defender who took nearly all of the penalty corners for the Marauders on Saturday, started off the play with a pass from the left corner to Lois Schwarz at the top of the circle. Schwarz then fired it back to Lou, who found Miranda Galbraith in front for the finish.

The sudden-death victory before Saturday’s home crowd was exhilarating.

“I have never gone into penalty corners ever, and it was so amazing,” Edmonds said. “I was really thinking about our practices because we always finish our practices in penalty corners and so we’re like already tired at the end. ... I was very glad that Coach (Jean Essex) has been doing that the entire season.”

Edmonds, like her counterpart on the Bobcats, Molly Edmark, kept coming up with big save after big save all afternoon and into the evening — the lights came on after the first of two overtime periods.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure, but I was pretty confident in my team,” Edmonds said following her 14-save performance. “My defense — Aiden (Stone), Lois and Jasmine — they were all playing for their lives because they’re all seniors and if that (Plymouth shot) had gone in, this would be their last game. They were not going to let that in; I had full confidence in them.”

Essex, now in her 17th year coaching the Marauders, is no stranger to the drama-inducing format that took place Saturday before a large crowd representing both schools.

“In my coaching career, I’ve probably seen it 10 times,” Essex said of the shootout. “I have teams that just don’t die. So they didn’t want to lose, they didn’t want to lose and they don’t give up and that’s admirable. That’s what we want from them going into the playoffs.”

Hanover, which lost in the D-II finals a year ago, will face No. 1 Kennett in the semifinals on Wednesday at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter, N.H. Kennett is undefeated, which Hanover was, too, until Plymouth beat the Marauders, 3-2, in the penultimate game of the regular season.

Both the Marauders and Bobcats played with sustained intensity throughout Saturday’s lengthy contest.

“We were very evenly matched,” Hanover’s Diana Schwarz said. “They were really fast, they stopped every ball, they knew how to put it between our feet and we did the same thing. … It was going to be that long, there was no clear better team.”

Diana Schwarz, who led the Upper Valley with 26 points during the regular season, scored Hanover’s goal in the fourth minute of the second half. Plymouth got its goal 10 minutes into the first half from Olivia Eastman.

Schwarz said the last time she participated in a shootout was during her freshman year at Derryfield, a game Hanover ultimately won.

“Usually, teams don’t go through two overtimes,” she said.

Both 15-minute overtime periods feature 6-on-6 play (plus goalies), which is a recipe for fatigue.

“When you go to 6-on-6, it really to me tests the depth of a team,” Essex said. “You have to go deeper on your bench all the time. … Every kid played, every kid participated; it was a team effort and that’s what we want.”

Notes: Hanover has scored 51 goals this season and surrendered nine, posting 10 shutouts in the process. … Wednesday’s game will be at 7 p.m., with Derryfield and Pelham meeting at 5 p.m. in the other semifinal matchup. … Saturday’s win was Hanover’s first since Oct. 1, a 5-0 result over Pelham. … Plymouth took five penalty corners during regulation. … Diana Schwarz lifted a shot straight over the Plymouth net during the first half. … A large crowd of Hanover students gathered on the field near the 50-yard line to watch the shootout, which required some 15 minutes of preparation from game officials.