Two minutes later, Hill would not be denied the equalizer.
Off a restart, Josephine Palde ’21 hit Logan Clouser ’21 in stride through the central part of the field. Clouser skillfully maneuvered around Notre Dame’s last defender and then around onrushing Irish goalkeeper Paige Kieft, controlling the loose ball to the left of the cage and firing a shot on goal. A Notre Dame defender who had tracked back to the goal partially deflected Clouser’s shot. The loose ball trickled across the goal line to Alex Conway ’20, who pushed it to the back of the cage, tying the game and stunning the nation’s top-ranked team.
For the final 10 minutes of regulation and the 10-minute overtime period, Hill’s defensive unit, backed by goalkeeper Hayley Gable ’22, who made 22 saves on the afternoon, stood tall to preserve the 2-2 tie.
“I am incredibly proud of the effort our girls put forward today,” said Hill head coach Jen Weissbach. “They played together and competed at the level at which we are capable. We have a lot to work on but we feel confident we will grow from this experience. This is just the beginning of what can be a very special season for Hill Field Hockey.”
The visiting Irish, two-time defending PAISAA champions, rolled into Pottstown with a perfect 6-0 record on the young season and, upon taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, appeared poised to improve to 7-0.
Down but not out, a cohesive, energized Hill team set out to chip away at the deficit as the second half began. Six minutes into the half, Clouser converted a well-executed corner from Conway, making the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors. The Irish pushed in an attempt to restore their two-goal advantage, but Hill’s defensive unit led by center backs Madison Orsi ’22 and Tatumn Eccleston ’19 did well to contain the Irish attack.
After being pinned into their defensive third for an extended period, Hill was able to play a long ball and penetrate the Irish back line, setting up the near miss followed shortly by Conway’s tying goal.
With 30 seconds left, the Irish were awarded a penalty corner. Hill’s defensive unit was able to clog the shooting lane, eating the final seconds off the clock and sending the game to overtime.
The teams played a 10-minute, seven-on-seven overtime period. Gable was called upon several times throughout the extra session, making several big saves. All seven Hill players, with vociferous support from the reserve players, coaches, and fans, battled fatigue on the warm afternoon and made several defensive stops to preserve the tie.