Falmouth Field Hockey Scores Late Winner, Moves On

Freshman Ericka Meissner bats the ball in behind Hanover goalie Hannah McCorkell to net the Clippers' first goal of the game yesterday in an MIAA state tournament win over the Indians. FHS won the game 2-1 and advances to the second round where they will face Apponequet High School on Sunday afternoon.RICH MACLONE/ENTERPRISE - Freshman Ericka Meissner bats the ball in behind Hanover goalie Hannah McCorkell to net the Clippers' first goal of the game yesterday in an MIAA state tournament win over the Indians. FHS won the game 2-1 and advances to the second round where they will face Apponequet High School on Sunday afternoon.

That their first round state tournament game fell on Halloween seems appropriate for the Falmouth High School field hockey team because it certainly was scary. The Clippers dominated the contest from start to finish, but with time winding down they found themselves locked in a 1-1 game. Maddi Haberl made sure that the contest didn’t end as a nightmare for the Clippers, though. The senior midfielder, who helped lead the dominant showing by her club, scored with just 98 seconds to play on a shot from the top of the circle, whistling it through traffic to cap off a penalty corner play that made FHS 2-1 winners over the Indians.

Falmouth (11-5-3) advances to the second round of the Division II state tournament, where they will meet undefeated Apponequet (18-0) on Sunday at 1 PM.

Head Coach Janey Norton said that her team was certainly deserving of marching on into quarterfinals. “We were killing them in the first half, just pounding and pounding the ball. Our forwards are young, and it’s just learning to play their positions and know where to be,” the coach said. “Taylor (Dimond) played phenomenal, she was so tenacious. She just was the key to helping us keep the ball pinned down in their end because she was blocking up everything that they were trying to come out with.”

From the opening whistle, Falmouth tilted the field and was pressuring the Hanover end. The Indians’ offensive chances were few and far between, but they were able to cash in their only quality opportunity of the game at the 15:01 mark of the first half, off of a penalty corner, their only one of the contest. A shot from the top of the circle, by Molly McMahan was headed wide of the net, but Samantha Taylor was able to get to the ball before it went out of bounds and sweep it back inside the near post for a 1-0 HHS lead.

The Clippers never wavered, though. After giving up the lead, they continued to press on and scored to tie it up just five minutes later. At the 19:56 mark, FHS picked up a penalty corner of its own and sent the ball to the top for Haberl, she fired it toward the net where freshman Ericka Meissner, who was a pest for Hanover’s defense all day long, flicked it by Hannah McCorkell and lunging defender Devyn Koch to knot the count.

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After halftime the game continued to see Falmouth press the offensive advantage, but they couldn’t seem to cash in their chances. A shot by Haberl, from outside the circle, was tipped into the net by Hanover, but the goal did not stand because it was not touched by an offensive player inside the circle. Another scramble in front saw the Clippers pounding away, but unable to land the ball in the net and Haberl had another long shot from outside the circle beat the goalie, but not stand because it taken from too far out on the perimeter.

Finally, though, with overtime becoming a real possibility, the Clippers put an end to their poor luck and put away the game-winner. Gaining another penalty corner, Anna Losordo triggered the ball to Haberl at the top of the circle, who in turn sent it down to Maggie MacDonald on the left side. MacDonald did not have a shooting angle, so she centered it back for Haberl, who was inside the circle this time and hammered a shot by the keeper, to the left side, to put her team ahead.

“(Coach Norton) let us call our own corner (play), and she gave us a sign for that and we always go with Chappy, which is for me to shoot, and if I don’t have a shot I pass it down to Maggie. I shot and then it was all yellow girls that were trying to hit it, and it just went in,” Haberl said. “We got off more shots than we have all year today, we just have to do a better job putting them in.”

While FHS dominated the game offensively, they were able to do so because of a strong effort from their defense. The midfield of Haberl, Losordo and Hannah Callahan, who left in the second half with an injury, along with Meghan Burke and Molly Walker, made sure that the ball was continuously moving forward and spent little time near the net. 

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