Stafford prevails in double overtime

STAFFORD — The Albemarle field hockey team has given Stafford fits all season and Tuesday was no exception.

During the season, the Commonwealth District foes split two overtime matches.

With a state tournament berth on the line, the Patriots once again forced overtime.

Actually, two overtimes.

But Stafford, which knows a little bit about playing well in pressure situations, came through in the end.

In overtime, big players usually make big plays because the game is played in a seven-on-seven format. That’s exactly what senior Amy Gallivan did as she shook off Jennifer Martinelli and scored the game-winning goal 54 seconds into the second overtime to give the Indians a 2-1 victory in the Northwest Region semifinals.

“The whole team is not that happy with the way we played today,” Stafford coach Robin Woodie said. “But we did what we could do to win the game.

“For some reason, we just could not get into a flow. I think they just match up well against us. Their goalkeeper played phenomenal. We really didn’t have an opportunity to finish.”

With the win, Stafford will be making its fifth straight trip to the Group AAA tournament, which will be played at James River High School in Richmond.

No scoring occurred until the second half, when the Commonwealth District champion Indians — behind the play of Gallivan, Chelsea Garfield, Caroline Loving and Ashley Dowling — started to force the issue.

With 18:34 left to play, Loving picked up the loose ball in the scoring circle and fired in the first goal of the game to put the Indians up 1-0.

The Patriots answered less than a minute-and-a-half later when Jenny Wood got the ball passed Stafford keeper Caitlin Faller.

The intensity picked up and the defense was stellar from that point on as the score remained tied at the end of regulation.

In the overtime, both teams had a couple opportunities in the scoring circle but defenders Lindsey Piester and Maggi Chamberlain came up big for the Indians.

Near the end of the first OT, game officials carded the Patriots twice. The first was a green card on Martinelli with 3:24 left and then a yellow card on Shipp with 1:17 left.

A little controversy ensued when the Patriots substituted for the yellow-carded Shipp, who was supposed to sit out for a five-minute time frame. The Albemarle coaching staff claimed darkness prevented them from knowing what color card Shipp received.

Albemarle played the remainder of the match with six players due to the infraction.

With a one-player advantage, Stafford scored quickly in the second overtime. Gallivan received of a pass from Dowling and made contact with Martinelli before bouncing into the open field. Then, she fired home the game-winner.

“I knew at that point it was between me and the goalie and I was hoping I could get it by her for the game-winning goal,” Gallivan said. “We played with a lot of heart out there and we knew with the player advantage that if we kept passing the ball we would find someone open. And we did.”

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