Hall hosted Norwalk in the first round of the Class L field hockey tournament, but the team’s season ended with a 3-1 loss.
By Paul Palmer. Photos by Craig Rosenberg and. Paul Palmer
For 31 minutes and 10 seconds on Wednesday night, the Hall Titans field hockey team managed to keep the ball out of their own net. Ellie Goldstein scored in the opening 20 minutes, giving the team a 1-0 lead at intermission over Norwalk.
At the break someone woke the Bears up from their scoring hibernation and they netted then game’s next three goals to advance to the quarterfinals in the Class L Tournament with the 3-1 win.
“I think they are a very, very good team and one of the better teams we’ve played all year,” said Hall head coach Jenna Behan of Norwalk.
Both sides came in at 11-5 and each boasted strong defenses. Hall had four shutouts on the season, including their final two games of the regular season. Norwalk was even better, shutting out their opponents in nine of their 11 wins.
In Wednesday’s game it was Hall’s defense that was tested all game long as the Bears dominated, putting on a strong offensive attack, forcing the Titans’ stellar backline on its heels. Goalie Hannah Schoen made save after save first to keep her team in it, and then after Goldstein’s goal, to keep them in the lead.
“Our defense played phenomenally. Hannah Schoen had 17 saves. She came up huge for us and honestly a lot of those in the first half should have gone in they didn’t and that kept us in the game,” said Behan.
Opening the second half, Norwalk’s Kaelyn Fogelson used her speed to stick handle down the sidelines, setting up dangerous chances. At 1:12 into the third, she came down the sideline, centered the ball into the Hall box, and her sister Liza was there to tie the game at 1.
Minutes later Norwalk nearly took the lead but Schoen made a kick save and 30 seconds later came up big against Julia Dennehy. The Titans managed to thwart Norwalk’s heavy pressure through most of the remainder of the quarter, but the dam broke with just 2:00 to play. This time it was Kaelyn Fogelson racing down the left sideline, stickhandling and racing past and through defenders, before cutting into the middle and letting fly a blistering shot that Schoen had no chance to stop.
It looked as though Hall would survive giving up just two goals, but as time was running down in the quarter that all changed when the Bears earned a penalty corner from the 10-meter mark. The horn sounded to end the third, but in field hockey, the team is allowed to take an untimed penalty corner in that situation. Once again it was Liza Fogelson scoring as she found a loose ball and managed to hit a dribbler that beat Schoen and two defenders as they scrambled to keep it out.
In the final 15 minutes Hall did have a better offensive flow and Goldstein managed to get the ball into dangerous places, but the Norwalk defense kept it from getting on net. At the other end, Schoen remained under pressure, but turned aside every shot that came her way.
The final horn sent Norwalk players streaming from their bench to celebrate in their half of the field. The same was true on the Hall half of the field, though it was tinged with a sense of sadness that the season had ended.
It was also the final high school game for Hall’s 12 seniors, including Goldstein who scored her 29th goal on the season and her 127th in program history.
“She has upped the level of play in the program because she is just so talented and works so hard that she makes her teammates better,” Behan said of the Maryland-bound senior.
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