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Field Hockey: Londonderry shocks Bishop Guertin

Special to the Sunday News

October 22. 2017 2:32AM

NASHUA - The last time Londonderry faced Bishop Guertin, Morgan Brutus wasn't even on the radar.

The Lancers junior goalie had never picked up a field hockey stick until preseason, and it never could have been imagined she'd be carrying her Lancers to the semifinals.

But behind her six saves, that's exactly what happened.

The Lancers used a late penalty shot in a triple overtime penalty corner shootout to pull out a 3-2 upset victory on the road and advance to the semifinals in Exeter against Pinkerton.

"She's new to field hockey, and has literally come out of nowhere," said Lancers coach Nichole Treadway of Brutus. "That first game (the season opener against Guertin) we had a freshman goalie because she'd actually touched a field hockey ball before. Morgan came up huge for us."

It was an afternoon of unlikelys for the Lancers, and that destiny was sealed as soon as Maeve McPhail found the back of the net on a penalty shot.

"She was overheating on the sideline," said Treadway. "I said, 'Hey, can she take a stroke?' And she did. I pulled her out towards the end of the second overtime because I knew I needed her head in it for strokes or corners."

Luckily for Treadway, McPhail had found her stroke the day before.

"Her first two (in practice) weren't good," said Treadway. "She said, 'Coach, can I take another one?' and I said, 'Yup,' and she took a third one and it was the stroke I knew she had and I had my decision at that moment."

After opening a 1-0 lead early, it appeared Guertin had found its offense again after struggling to find the net for weeks.

But when the final seconds ticked off the clock in the second overtime at Stellos Stadium, it seemed there might not be much offense again.

After McKenna Gosselin scored to make it 1-0 Cardinals three and a half minutes into the contest, it seemed like the home team might be on the attack. The Cards lost two in a row to end the regular season against Winnacunnet and Timberlane, and hadn't scored a goal since Oct. 4.

Allie Marsh tied the game at one 9:21 before the half, and then halfway through the second frame she tallied again to give the Lancers their first lead.

"That was our conversation at halftime," said Treadway. "If we're in the same situation as last game with them (down early), you don't get second chances often. This is our second chance."

It was short lived as Gosselin notched her second score 1:13 later.

There wouldn't be any more scoring until the game was sent to penalty corners, following both goalies having outstanding extra time performances. Guertin's Makenna Leazer came up with four saves, and initially stopped the Lancers in the final frame.

It was a much different result from when these teams played on Aug. 30, a 4-1 BG win.

"We're a totally different team," said Treadway. "What I guess I would say is, we are a team. That's the biggest thing. Our first day out here, we had new formations, new coaches, we'd been here two and a half weeks, and since then we're a whole new team."

For the Lancers now, they'll face top-seeded Pinkerton for a chance to play for the state title. That's not a new challenge for Treadway and her team, who lost just 1-0 to arguably the strongest team in the state when they played on Sept. 23.

"All I can say is my girls really are a team," she said. "They really are."

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