EMMAUS -- The game already looked like it was changing complexion when the power went out early in the second half.
There was the game in which Coughlin was competitive with defending Class 3A state champion Hempfield. And there was the game in which Coughlin could do no right, and Hempfield could do no wrong.
In the end, the latter game won out, complete with a bizarre storyline, as the Black Knights rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Crusaders 3-2 in the PIAA quarterfinals at Emmaus High School on Saturday.
I don't care if we lose if we played a bad game, Coughlin coach Colleen Wood said. They played a hell of a game and it's a shame ... for a season to be cut short like this.
Coughlin had two shots on goal, followed by two penalty corners, in the first 90 seconds of play. The Crusaders built a lead when Kyra Castano cut off a clearing pass and set up Caitlin Wood for a goal high to the glove side of Knights keeper Hollyn Barr 10 minutes in.
Madysen Jones made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, tipping home a set-up by Brigid Wood from the top of the circle on a corner.
Except for the scoreboard, it was a balanced game -- Coughlin had four of the seven shots, each team had four corners and each goalie had two saves at that point. Then the mood turned.
We've been working on our mental toughness, Hempfield coach Julianne Bojanic-Collier said. I think this is the first game all year where we've been down and come back.
Two minutes later, Kelsey Nolan's blast from the circle was tipped into the goal by Taylor Nolan. A discussion among the officials determined the tip was not above the shoulder and the lift was a deflection off a Coughlin player, allowing the Knights' goal to stand for a 2-1 game at the half.
The game then split into two separate entities.
For the Crusaders (14-5), nothing went right and frustration was evident among the players on the field. When Brigid Wood appeared to be struck in the face with a stick by a Hempfield player, it was Wood who was given a yellow card and five-minute penalty. Goalie Paige Tedik made save after amazing save -- leaping up or swinging her stick or kicking away threats -- but kept facing yet another Hempfield shot.
Paige had a phenomenal game, Coach Wood said. I don't know how many saves she made. For her to think it's on her is wrong.
When they don't let you out of the defensive zone, it makes it hard. The percentages say that if you're down there that long, it's going to go in.
Then, with less than two minutes left, as Coach Wood finally had her team gain possession so that a timeout could be awarded, a PIAA District 11 representative went onto the field, into the Coughlin huddle and berated the coach.
She said I never called it, Wood said of the timeout. It was just another thing. A ref told (Caitlin Wood) to shut up on the field. I've never heard of that. These kids, when call after call after call goes against them, they'll get frustrated.
As for the yellow card, Nothing. There was nothing, Coach Wood said of the explanation given.
While emotions ran raw among the Crusaders, the Knights (19-6) could not have been happier. They had all 13 second-half shots. They had all 13 second-half corners. And, most importantly, had both second-half goals.
We wanted to attack and create some opportunities, Bojanic-Collier said. At the same time, we wanted to stay organized and make sure to stall their transition play.
Four seniors finished their high school careers. Tedik, Jones, Caitlin Wood and Haley Waslasky helped the Crusaders to their best state tournament effort since 2005.
First half: 1. COU, Caitlin Wood (Kyra Castano), 20:07; 2. COU, Madysen Jones (Brigid Wood), 7:49; 3. HEM, Taylor Nolan (Kelsey Nolan), 6:21. Second half: 4. HEM, Megan Bupp (K. Nolan), 21:54; 5. HEM, K. Nolan, 4:49.
Shots: HEM 19, COU 5. Saves: HEM 3 (Hollyn Barr), COU 13 (Paige Tedik). Corners: HEM 20, COU 5.