BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston field hockey team celebrated their seniors last week under the lights at Snyder Park to a crowd of adoring fans. A two goal late in the game surge came up short as GL lost a close battle to Livingston, 3-2.
Gov Livingston seniors Megan Cranston, Jordan Driesbach, Eileen Li, Abigail Long, Sandra Manfreda, Gillian Mitreuter, Kate O'Donnell, Aislinn Roth, Meryl Schafer and Nicole Sigalini and their families were honored in a ceremony before the game.
There has been a common theme to the season with many games coming down to a single goal. Still feeling the sting of Saturday's 2-1 loss to Cranford, GL came into Senior night with extra energy from their fans.
With just over a minute left in play, GL trailed 3-1. The fans were brought to their feet when senior Meryl Schafer's breakaway forced a Livingston penalty which led to senior Kate O'Donnell scoring on a corner to bring the game within a goal reach.
GL kept the pressure on Livingston's goalie and would have one more chance to send it to OT, but the clock ran out and Livingston would grab their second season win.
While the seniors felt a slight sting of another close loss, the excitement and thrill radiated by the hometown crowd offset any disappointment. "It is almost as good as a win," said Schafer of the crowd's energy.
"Two more minutes -- we had the energy," said Schafer. "We pushed ourselves. It was the best way to be in the game."
Both teams held each other to a scoreless stalemate in the first half. It would be Livingston to score first in the second half and then quickly capitalized on two corner shots to advance to a 3-0 lead.
GL picked up their pace with the help of O'Donnell's stick control and midway through the second half they kept Livingston goalie engaged as she deflected shot after shot. GL would finally get one by goalie Daniella Terry, trailing 3-1 with 10:54 remaining.
The combination of just miss opportunities on goal and Terry's "fantastic goaltending," GL came up short of victory.
"We probably didn't deliver as much as we would have wanted," said O'Donnell. "But we made them [corners] happen, which is a good thing to start with."
Senior defender Aislinn Roth was happy to see the team's energy level come back. "It's not a win, it does sting a little, but it is such a good way to go out," the senior defender said. "The most important thing is that we had such good energy. --The atmosphere --everyone's friends came out, parents are all here -- it really helped us."
O'Donnell added a goal and an assist for GL, Audrey Cardone scored a goal and Schafer recorded two assists. Abigail Long and Gillian Mitreuter split time in goal tallying a combined 8 saves. While Terry recorded 22 saves for Livingston.
GL finished out the week with a 3-2 win over Union and lost to Mount Saint Dominic, 2-0.
Up next, GL will host North Plainfield Thursday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.