November 9, 2013
Red Dragons true drama queens
It would be very complimentary to call these SUNY Cortland field hockey performers drama queens.
That’s because head coach Cynthia Wetmore’s determined stickers have displayed an uncanny knack for late-game dramatics throughout this season, as Oneonta can attest once again after the latest Cortland comeback arrived in the SUNY Athletic Conference playoff semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Senior forward Karly Vdoviak scored the tying goal with no time on the clock in regulation and then tallied the winning goal 7:42 into overtime to lift top-seeded and nationally 14th-ranked Red Dragons to a 2-1 victory over fourth-seed Oneonta.
Just two weeks ago, in a regular-season home game against Oneonta, Cortland trailed by a goal before tying the game on a penalty corner with no time left on the clock. The Red Dragons then posted a 3-2 victory on Erin Smith’s goal in the second OT stanza.
The same situation played out on this same Stadium Complex turf in a playoff game that was delayed twice by snow.
Down 1-0, the Red Dragons were awarded a corner as time expired. By rule, Cortland was allowed to complete the corner with the clock at zero. Senior Smith received a pass on the corner and fed the ball to the right, where Vdoviak lifted a shot over the goalie to send the game into overtime.
In the first sudden-victory 7-versus-7 overtime, sophomore Jillian Vogl passed the ball along the left end line to Vdoviak for a shot that found its way inside the left post for the game-winner.
That victory will send Cortland (14-2) into today’s 1:30 p.m. title game against third-seeded defending champion New Paltz (12-8). The Hawks were 3-1 winners over Geneseo in the other semifinal game played at the Stadium Complex.
New Paltz beat Cortland in a stroke-off a year ago at this same site, after a 1-1 standoff through regulation and overtime periods. Cortland High graduate Maddie Forrester is a senior captain and defender for the Hawks.
The Hawks were also victims of Cortland’s late-game heroics this season, losing 3-2 to the Red Dragons back on Oct. 22. Cortland pulled out that victory with the same penalty corner scenario after time had expired, Vdoviak with the game-winner on that occasion.
Seven of Cortland’s 14 victories have been by one-goal margins, with three of those overtime decisions.
Though Cortland held a lopsided 32-4 shot advantage over Oneonta (12-8), the fourth-seeds still grabbed a 1-0 lead when Andrea Day scored just under four minutes into the second half. Day, a junior out of Greene, took a crossing pass from junior Sierra Earle and one-timed in a shot from in front of the cage.
That put Oneonta on the verge of victory, only to be denied by Vdoviak’s two timely goals.
Oneonta junior goalie Tess Tracy made 17 saves in the loss, while the guests also recorded three defensive saves. Senior Jessica Hodes made one with 5:58 left in regulation and another just 19 seconds prior to Cortland’s game-winning goal, and senior Stephanie Fiske out of Marathon made a defensive save 5:09 into overtime.
For Cortland, freshman goalie Mairead Hourihan made a single save.
The start of the game was delayed nearly 10 minutes due to snow covering the field, and the game was delayed again for approximately 45 minutes at halftime after another series of snow squalls.
The weather cleared, however, for the remainder of the game.
New Paltz 3, Geneseo 1: Senior forward Danielle Conklin had a goal and two assists for the defending champion Hawks.
Conklin broke the school single-season record in assists as she notched her 10th and 11th of the season, surpassing the former mark of 10 assists shared by herself and Sarah Schloss who set the mark in 2009. Conklin also bettered the program’s career points record, upping her career total to 80.
Conklin scored the game’s first goal at 28:07, following up an initial shot by freshman midfielder Colleen Roemer that was saved by Geneseo’s goalie Danya Mercer.
The Hawks went up 2-0 mere minutes into the second half when sophomore forward Dani Ackerman scored the eventual game-winner, her 17th of the season, from the right side and off a feed from Conklin at 38:07.
Geneseo (13-7) pulled to within 2-1 when Sarah Malinak earned her 21st goal of the season off an assist from Bridget McGovern at 49:51.
The Hawks capped the game in the 57th minute when senior midfielder Lauren Link connected on a long blast through Mercer’s pads following a penalty corner, Conklin picking up her second assist.
New Paltz senior goalie Antonija Pjetri had six of her seven games in the opening half to keep Geneseo off the scoreboard. Mercer made six saves for Geneseo.
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