After missing her first shootout attempt of the afternoon, Massachusetts field hockey’s Georgie McTear lined up again in the eighth round for a second chance. She capitalized on that, spinning to her left and burying a go-ahead goal. Marlise van Tonder followed suit, making the game-winning stop to topple No. 10 Boston College 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
“It was very exciting,” UMass head coach Barb Weinberg said. “I’m just really proud of the team’s resilience today to come back after the game on Friday.”
Excitement was building for both sides as the game went on, with the No. 21 Minutewomen (7-4, 1-1 Atlantic 10) and No. 10 Eagles (7-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) going on runs at different key times. But when the 60-minute horn sounded, the scoreboard was still even.
Overtime featured more of the same, UMass and BC exchanged blows offensively, but neither could find a game winning goal in either of the two extra periods.
The five Minutewomen selected to participate in the shootout locked arms as they watched van Tonder stop four of the eight attempts made by the Eagles. On the offensive side of the shootout, UMass was led by two unexpected performances.
Freshman Hannah de Gast and senior Katherine Flurry — both of whom have not seen much time on the field this season — scored twice to help extend the shootout and set up McTear’s eventual game-winner.
“As you go on and on in a shootout you feel like the time is going to come and something is going to crack,” Weinberg said. “So I had the utmost confidence [in McTear] based on the shots we had already scored in the shootout.”
Prior to the mad scramble of overtime, the 60-minute game flow was calculated. The Eagles dominated the first part of all four regulation quarters, generating overwhelming offense during those intervals. During the back half of the quarters, momentum shifted towards the Minutewomen who outputted the majority of their offense in the last five minutes of each frame.
After falling behind in the first four minutes of the contest, the Minutewomen applied counter pressure in the back half of the quarter but failed to find the back of the net. The same exact situation arose in the second frame with BC scoring on a well-executed penalty corner to make it 2-0. And despite some pushback, UMass could not get on the scoreboard before halftime.
The second half was a reversal of fates. The Eagles still dominated the first half of the third quarter, but this time they were not rewarded for their efforts. Meanwhile, Amelie Green broke through for the Minutewomen with three minutes left in the third frame. UMass continued to build on that momentum for the final 18 minutes and did not lose hope.
On a penalty corner with 34 seconds to play in regulation, McTear sent a shot towards the net that was punched in by Jess Beech to even the contest in dramatic fashion.
“We got stronger every quarter of the game today,” Weinberg said. “We thought that we were controlling a lot of the play in the second half so to come up huge right at the end of the game to score the tying goal, just really proud of this team.”
Van Tonder and the UMass defense remained solid and weathered the storm against the high-powered BC offense. Together the defense did not allow a goal in over 60 minutes straight including overtime, and van Tonder added to her impressive resume this season with eight saves on Sunday.
“Just really clean defense all over the field,” Weinberg said. “We denied them on a lot of penalty corners today and our circle defense did great.”
UMass has proven all season that it can hang with some of the best teams in the country, narrowly losing to a pair of top-15 teams in Maryland and Wake Forest earlier this season. Now the Minutewomen have earned a statement victory heading into the remainder of its conference schedule.
UMass returns to action on Friday at 2 p.m. to take on Saint Louis on the road.
Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.