Pinkerton claims Div. I Field Hockey title, 2-1
BEDFORD - For the first time in three years there's a new high school field hockey champion in the state's largest division.
Rachael Charewicz scored on a penalty corner with 16.8 seconds left in overtime to give top-seeded Pinkerton Academy of Derry a 2-1 win over two-time defending champion No. 2 Winnacunnet of Hampton in the Division I championship on Sunday at Bedford High.
Brianne Torre started the corner with a perfect pass to Charewicz at the left point. Charewicz then blasted a shot past Warrior goalie Haley Morancy (five saves) for the winner.
'I knew it was coming to me,' Charewicz said. 'I knew it was going to be a good ball.'
Torre originally wanted to call a different play, but Kaylie Decosmo told her the one for Charewicz was a better option.
'I set myself up, passed to Rachael, next thing I heard was a thud and we're state champ,' Torre said.
Like all the other penalty corners the Astros took, it was simple, typically limited to two passes before a shot.
'You want the ball in the goal,' Torre said. 'That should be the only thing on your mind.'
The Astros wrapped up their season with a record of 14-1-2 and Winnacunnet finished at 14-3.
'I'm proud of them,' said Winnacunnet coach Heidi Hand, who had won all eight playoff games in her coaching career before the loss. 'They gave it their all and they played hard.'
Both goals in regulation came within a minute of each other.
Winnacunnet struck first with a goal by Taylor Blood at 4:53 of the second half.
Blood dribbled around two defenders to the middle of the circle, where she let loose a reverse stick shot that beat Pinkerton goalie Jordan Dudley (six saves).
The Astros responded just 49 seconds later.
It was Charewicz who got things in motion with a shot from the point. Decosmo managed to get a stick on it in front of the net and redirect the ball by Morancy to tie things up, 1-1, with 25:18 left in regulation.
Both teams had conservative game plans. The Warriors almost always had at least four players on their defensive side of the field, and the Astros almost always had at least three back.
That limited the scoring opportunities and each team capitalized on what little they got.
Winnacunnet had one good bid in overtime when a shot went right across the front of the Pinkerton net with 9:43 remaining in the extra frame.
Then the Astros got their lone penalty corner of the extra frame as time wound down and made good on it.
'I think it was a long time coming for them,' Pinkerton coach Jen Resmini said. 'The motivation within.'