The stakes were high, and that was just fine for the Falmouth High School field hockey team. The Clippers’ bid to win the Cape and Islands League playoff tournament was kept alive with a thrilling overtime shootout victory over Nauset on the road on Wednesday afternoon, November 11, in Eastham.
After playing to a 1-1 draw during regulation and a scoreless 15-minute overtime period, the game came down to a shootout. The shootout portion determined which team would meet Sandwich on Friday, November 13, for the league title. It went down to the wire, but in the end the Clippers scored a 3-2 win in the shootout to take the game 2-1.
“It was a fantastic field hockey game. That was one of the most-intense games I’ve ever been a part of. It was so exciting,” an ecstatic FHS head coach Courtney Lima said after the victory.
It came down to the wire, and Falmouth rallied from behind in the shootout to win. Nauset secured a 2-1 lead after three shooters, but the Clippers came through in the end behind some standout play by goalie Kyleigh Waggett, who made 10 saves.
“She was amazing,” Lima said. “She came up so big.”
Falmouth missed on shot number one, and Nauset claimed a quick 1-0 lead by converting its chance, which came on a penalty stroke after Waggett covered the ball on the initial shot.
Rookie Avery Johnsen shot second for Falmouth, and put home her bid with a beautiful deke move that tied it. However, Falmouth’s next shooter was stopped, and Nauset scored to go up 2-1 after three chances each.
With the pressure at its highest, the Clippers came up clutch. Natalie Bosselman tied it up by putting home her own rebound on the shootout move, corralling her carom and tucking it away to make it 2-2. Waggett then came up with a save to keep the deadlock intact.
As for the lineup, coach Lima said she saved Katie Shanahan for last for a very specific reason. “I did that intentionally. I knew she had the confidence and that she wouldn’t let the moment bother her,” Lima said. “Her move was picture perfect.”
Shanahan’s dipsy-do had the team ahead 3-2, and put all of the pressure on Nauset to come through to tie it. It couldn’t. Waggett stopped the initial shot and then won a race to the ball, clearing it out of the circle to end the game and start a celebration in which she was the epicenter.
“We just played so well. We played unified today, supported each other in all parts of the field. It was exactly what you want,” Lima said.
The coach said the play of Grace Hostetter, Haley Callahan and Bosselman was very important defensively. After giving up an early goal just four minutes into the action, the Falmouth defense collected itself and refused to be beaten. Waggett’s athleticism in goal also played a big role in the shutout over the final 56 minutes of regulation, plus the 15 minutes of sudden-death overtime.
After falling behind, Falmouth quickly tied the score on a pretty play that saw several players touch the ball. The ball came out of the defensive end from Bosselman and found Johnsen, who then hit Shanahan with a pass. Shanahan rushed the wing and sent a great cross to the far post for Abby McDonald, who put it home to knot the score.
Now the Clippers get a shot at Sandwich High School for the title. FHS was the team that kept SHS from having a perfect regular season in league play. The Clippers tied the Knights 1-1 late in the season, and also dropped a 4-2 decision early in the year. Sandwich advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Dennis-Yarmouth earlier Wednesday.