The Lions of New Hope-Solebury did not give up without a fight. On Halloween, they faced off against Lower Moreland in what turned out to be a heavily defensive field hockey battle.
NHS came into this game after winning the PIAA District 1A Title for the first time in their program’s history on October 27 over Gwynedd Mercy in overtime. High on their victory horse, they were not going to go down without a fight.
Lower Moreland knew that NHS was an unstoppable team, not only from their winning record, but from firsthand experience after losing to them earlier in the season. This game they came prepared. Lower Moreland switched up their game plan to have a full-out defensive battle. Their thought process for this game was definitely “defense wins championships.” They had one offensive player and the rest stayed back to help defend the goal.
Their plan was simple. If NHS cannot score during the regulation match length, then a shootout was inevitable and would allow Lower Moreland a better opportunity at winning the match. Come halftime, it seemed to be working. The score was tied 0-0. Lower Moreland needed to keep the ball out of their goal for one more half and then their fate would rest in the overtime shootout.
As fate would have it, no matter how much defense Lower Moreland would play, they could not prevent the inevitable. With 22:09 left to play in the second half, NHS’s Sara Hayden took a shot on goal. The shot hit off a defensive player’s stick and went in. This gave NHS the lead. Kate Dougherty, with an assist from Sarah Wilson, would follow up with another goal with 10:30 left in the half, giving NHS a 2-0 lead and pretty much sealing their fate and moving them into the next round of playoffs.
New Hope-Solebury will rematch against Gwynedd Mercy in the District 1 / District 12 Regional Final on tonight at CB West. The game starts at 7 p.m.