AUBURN — Staring down a barrage of shots as a field hockey goalie is tough enough as it is.
Staring them down in overtime as a first-year varsity keeper can be downright scary.
Test passed for St. Dom’s goalie Amanda Cortellino, who turned back three consecutive Dirigo chances in the first overtime, allowing the Saints to escape Monday afternoon’s MVC contest tied with the Cougars, 1-1.
“For her first year, she’s doing amazing,” St. Dom’s coach Brian Kay said.
The rest of the players on both side of the ball weren’t so bad, either, as both teams traded chances all game on offense while both defenses shut down their opponents at opportune times.
“That was a good game. It could have gone either way,” Kay said. “All in all it was a great game. Both teams had opportunities, it was a matter of finishing.”
“It’s just frustrating sometimes, knowing we’re dominating the play and can’t put one in,” Dirigo coach Gretchen Errington said.
And dominate the Cougars did, particularly later in each half and throughout most of the overtime sessions.
“I’ve told them before, if they could bring the energy level and the skills they seem to use in the seven-on-sevens to the whole game, we’d have no problem,” Errington said.
But Dirigo did rally when it mattered most. Faced with a 1-0 deficit in the waning minutes of regulation, Britt Lapointe gathered the ball in the middle of the circle after a long hit in from 30 yards out. She dribbled once and slid the ball past Cortellino to knot the game and ultimately send it into overtime.
Once in the extra session and with both teams down to six players and a goalie, the Saints tried to use their speed. They succeeded in earning a penalty corner but couldn’t get a shot off against Dirigo keeper Amanda Dolloff.
“Our forwards have some speed,” Kay said. “It’s just a matter of starting to gel. They have so much speed. They need to learn to take advantage of it.”
Dirigo did find a way to get some shots on goal, testing Cortellino three times on three overtime corners.
The teams played through a scoreless first half, with the Saints dominating the first 15 minutes and Dirigo the second.
Early in the second half — which followed a similar pattern — St. Dom’s finally solved Dolloff when Callie Greco rammed home a rebound on a Brittany Eastman shot from the left corner.
“She got it right in front of the goal for me, and I was able to chip it in,” Greco said. “It came right behind the pad and I tipped it in.”