Sabres claim ESIAC cham­pi­onship

Dorchester Star - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

WESTOVER — Fac­ing a skilled 6-foot-plus goalie made scor­ing a dif­fi­cult chal­lenge for the Sabres in last Fri­day af­ter­noon’s Eastern Shore In­de­pen­dent Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game at the Som­er­set County Cen­tral­ized Ath­letic Fa­cil­ity.

But with time run­ning out in over­time, Saints Peter and Paul High’s He­lena Covey found a way to do it. From the right wing, she arced an acute-an­gled shot from about 20 yards away over the head of Worces­ter Prep’s goalie Gra­cie Gard­ner, un­der the cross­bar, and into the far side of the net, lift­ing the Sabres girls’ soc­cer team to a 2-1 vic­tory.

“I was on the far right. I just saw a space open up and I just shot be­cause I knew time was get­ting down,” Covey said. “I thought if I aimed far, and just got it right over top of her, I could get it past her height.”

Se­nior for­ward Caro­line Mur­phy was the first to meet the joy­ous Covey with a leap­ing em­brace and the rest of the Sabres piled on the love as they cel­e­brated a thrilling end to a suc­cess­ful sea­son.

SSPP earned both the ESIAC reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onship and the post­sea­son ti­tle, fin­ish­ing 11-2 un­der head coach Jess Kile.

The Sabres sent 11 shots on goal in the first half and took a 1-0 lead late in the half on a goal by Mur­phy.

“This past week we’ve been a lit­tle iffy on the pos­ses­sion, get­ting a lit­tle ner­vous for to­day, so we re­ally wanted to fo­cus on that to­day,” Mur­phy said. “That par­tic­u­lar run

our pos­ses­sion was just re­ally good. Sarah [Rust], num­ber 22, an­other cap­tain, shot on frame and I just got the re­bound. I was at the right place at the right time.”

Led by ESIAC player of the year, ju­nior De­laney Am­ber­crom­bie, and se­nior Kaylee Dixon, the Mal­lards tested Sabres goalie Sophia Marciniak with nine shots on goal in the first half, but couldn’t get one past her.

That changed early in the sec­ond half when Messa Cam­mack scored with a shot much like Covey’s game-win­ner. She sent an arc­ing shot from 18 yards out that sailed un­der the cross­bar and into the left side of the net to tie the game at 1-1. But that ended the Mal­lards’ scor­ing.

SSPP con­trolled most of the ac­tion the re­main­der of reg­u­la­tion, but Gard­ner was there to stop the ball with saves or keep­ers on ev­ery scor­ing at­tempt. The Sabres took 10 shots on goal in the sec­ond half com­pared to six for the Mal­lards. Heather Kyle, Elena Esper, Lilly Bishop, Cat Chris­tian, and Rust placed shots on goal for SSPP in the sec­ond half. Caro­line Shilling had sent a shot on goal in the first half.

The only shot on goal in over­time was Covey’s gamewin­ner.

“It was beau­ti­ful,” said Kile about the game-win­ning goal. “I couldn’t have asked for any­thing bet­ter, and I don’t ask for any­thing more from her. I’ve been telling her to do it all sea­son and she did it, and it worked.”

“I re­ally just wanted to get it for my se­niors,” Covey said. “They won it their fresh­men year and I thought it would be a re­ally cool to send them out and get the win.”

Said Mur­phy: “The last time we won [the ESIAC cham­pi­onship game] was kind of deja-vu be­cause it was the ex­act same way — over­time, same ex­act shot, same ex­act place, same ex­act time. I was in the ex­act same spot, watched the ball fall in both times. So, this is sur­real.”

Lead­ing the de­fense for SSPP were Jill Koski, Karis Ward, and Amy Nguyen. Chris­tian and Kristin Tow­ers helped se­cure the mid­field.

“I’m so proud of them,” Kile said. “They’ve done ev­ery­thing I’ve asked all sea­son. Just wow! We started out ner­vous, ex­cited, but over­all they shook off their nerves and they set­tled down and played like the team they knew how to be.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ csknauss / email me at ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Sts. Peter and Paul High’s Caro­line Mur­phy leaps onto He­lena Covey to be­gin the cel­e­bra­tion af­ter the Sabres de­feated Worces­ter Prep, 2-1, in over­time Fri­day af­ter­noon in Westover.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

The Saints Peter and Paul High School field hockey team with their ESIAC cham­pi­onship tro­phies Fri­day af­ter­noon at the Som­er­set County Cen­tral­ized Ath­letic Com­plex in Westover. They won the league’s reg­u­lar-sea­son and post­sea­son cham­pi­onships.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Sts. Peter and Paul High’s He­lena Covey (8) re­acts af­ter she scored the game-win­ning goal in over­time Fri­day af­ter­noon against Worces­ter Prep in the ESIAC cham­pi­onship game. Along­side her is Cat Chris­tian (20) and ad­vanc­ing to meet her is Caro­line Mur­phy (12).

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Saints Peter and Paul’s Jill Koski (3) passes as a crowd of Herons close in dur­ing last Wed­nes­day’s ESIAC semi­fi­nal.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Sts. Peter and Paul High’s Caro­line Mur­phy (12) bat­tles with Worces­ter Prep’s Quinn McGol­gan along the side­line dur­ing the first half Fri­day af­ter­noon in Westover.

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