SUMMIT, NJ - Christina Doherty scored the game winning goal with two seconds left on a centering pass from teammate Krista Zistray as the Kent Place Lady Dragons buried seven shots in the back of the net in the second half to defeat the Summit Lady Hilltoppers 8-7 on Thursday afternoon at Pat Conley Field in Summit.
The Lady Dragons, who were trailing the entire game up until the final seconds, maintained possession of the ball for about a minute in their opponents' zone with the score tied 7-7. With about six seconds left to go it appeared that the game would be headed for overtime as the Lady Hilltoppers looked to clear the ball up field. However, when they were unable to do so, Zistray picked up the loose ball and threw a pass to the center that found Doherty's stick. The center then fired a shot past Lady Hilltoppers' goaltender Sarah Weber.
"It was kind of just in the moment...I just remember turning and shooting it," Doherty said of her game winning goal.
Although the final score did not indicate it, the Lady Hilltoppers dominated the game in the first half, both possession and goal-wise. Kelly Osmukki struck first just 1:07 into the game and left attack winger Kate Martino blasted in two shots before the 12 minute mark to give the Lady Hilltoppers a 3-0 lead.
"The strategy was...to possess the ball and take good shots," Summit Head Coach Rob Grella said. "We try to have minimal turnovers...and in the beginning we did that," he continued.
The second half saw exciting back and forth action between both teams. The Lady Dragons scored two quick goals, both from left winger Francis Bird, to bring the score to 3-2. The Lady Hilltoppers countered with a goal of their own when Megan Paytas scored on a drive toward the left side of the Lady Dragons' net off a penalty.
The Lady Hilltoppers seemed to have the game well in hand when Martino again scored and Caroline Cordrey put it in the back of the net off a nice give and go pass to make the score 7-4. The Lady Dragons then scored the next four goals in a span of 7:09 to come back and win the contest. They scored their next three goals in a span of one minute as the score remained tied for over six minutes in the second half.
"It was a great game...We prepared for them and just did a nice job keeping them to minimum goals," Lady Dragons' Head Coach Lisa Negvesky said. "Our motto for this year...says heart because these girls have the most heart than I have seen in any athletes."
Osmukki hit the cross bar on a shot that would have given the Lady Hilltoppers an 8-7 lead with 2:20 left to play.
The Lady Hilltoppers, who fell to 2-2 on their season, will next play against Chatham High School on Saturday morning. The Lady Dragons will face off against Columbia High School, also on Saturday morning.