“It’s deja vu all over again. The road win. In overtime. The goalie. Another Lexi. There’s a lot of deja vu.”
If she hadn’t been through it two years in a row with her Warriors, Wyoming Area field hockey coach Lunda Comiskey might not have believed … well, what she just saw.
For the second year in a row, the Warriors did the improbable. They built a lead, saw the home team come back to tie after goalie Christina Granteed is injured and still go on to an overtime 4-3 victory — this year at Lake-Lehman in the District 2 Class 2A quarterfinals.
“This was amazing,” said freshman Grace Angelella, who had the second two-goal game of her career — including the winner in overtime. “It was really stressful, but I’m happy we were able to win.”
Last year, Wyoming Area led 3-1 at Dallas in the quarterfinals and had standout goalie Granteed injured by a high stick. Bree Bednarski ended up scoring the overtime winner against the Mountaineers.
Tuesday, Bednarski took the ball on the right side and sent a perfect centering pass through to Angelella in front during extra time.
The drama built as Lexi Crossley saw her first varsity minutes in goal after Granteed came sliding out to stop Lehman’s Lilli Stepanski on a breakaway after Korri Wandel threaded a perfect pass to her behind the defense.
With the score 3-2 and 3:25 remaining, a penalty stroke was called. Wandel greeted Crossley with a flick shoulder-high to the stick side to knot the game at 3.
The Black Knights had given up more than two goals only once all year, but the young squad showed a unique composure rallying from three goals down. Katie Supey tipped a Wandel shot to cash in a corner with 10:53 left, and Alyssa Adams corralled a rebound and passed across the goal to Taylor Alba at the far post for an easy marker to make it 3-2 with 6:13 remaining.
Wyoming Area opened the scoring with another freshman, Emilie Wanko, putting home a deflected shot. The Warriors scored twice in the first 10:21 of the second half, with Abby Schwerdtman curling back at the 25 with the ball and feathering a through ball that Drew Bednarski redirected for a two-goal lead. Then Angelella completed a tic-tac-toe passing play with Drew Bednarski and Bree Bednarski on a rebound of a Abby Thornton shot on a corner.
Crossley was tested early in overtime, turning aside a blast by Adams on a corner in the opening minute. From there, the Warriors maintained the bulk of the attack.
“I was a little nervous when she came in,” Angelella said of Crossley’s first action after being a field player in middle school and the first half of this season. “But she did a really good job coming in like that late in the game.”
Bree Bednarski finished with the first three-assist game of her career for Wyoming Area.
Wyoming Sem 3
Wyoming Area 0
Wyoming Seminary’s Morgan Malone found the back of the cage twice in the opening 30 minutes, and junior Alexis Quick tallied a second-half goal as Wyoming Seminary eliminated Wyoming Area, 3-0, in the District 2 Class 2A field hockey semifinals Thursday.
Seminary, which automatically qualifies for states because of the victory, faces off with top-seeded Crestwood for the championship next week.
It was just two weeks ago the Blue Knights needed overtime to edge the Warriors, 1-0.
“Our goal was to get to states, and we played just well enough to win,” Klassner said. “We really had some trouble when we played them at Wyoming Area.”
It was a different Wyoming Area team from the first matchup. Because of an injury, freshman goalkeeper Lexi Crossley was pushed into her first varsity start.
Give the freshman credit because she held her own against a team that won state titles in 2010 and 2011, and reached the state quarterfinals one season ago.
Crossley thwarted several point-blank opportunities Seminary had, and made several sensational kick saves on 2-on-1 breaks, stopping 16 of the 21 shots sent her way.
“It was hard for Lexi, and she did well,” Wyoming Area head coach Lunda Comiskey said. “Even as a coach, I wondered how prepared she was. She is such a nice athlete with good hand-eye coordination.”
The problem was the Wyoming Area defense couldn’t hold down Malone for too long.
She needed just three minutes, taking the feed from Gabrielle Grossman and shooting cross-cage for the 1-0 Seminary lead.
Malone’s second goal was just straight power.
Working with numbers in Seminary’s favor, the forward lined up the shot and released a missile toward the near corner of the cage; a shot that Crossley didn’t have a chance to react to.
Wyoming Area had only one shot, which trickled harmlessly near the goal, and couldn’t manage any shot opportunities on its three penalty corners.