BALTIMORE, NOV. 5 -- The Magruder field hockey team showed up at the Maryland State Class 3A semifinals at Goucher College today wearing shirts emblazoned with "Go Hard or Go Home!" across the back. The Colonels went hard for all of regulation, two overtime periods, and into penalty strokes before downing second-seeded Bel Air, 2-1, to advance to Saturday's final against Calvert.
Jennie Heyob flicked Magruder's first penalty stroke just over goalie Beth Dail's left shoulder to give the Colonels the lead. Magruder goalie Becky Pellett then stopped Marj Wasson's shot with her stick to provide the Colonels (10-2) with the win.
"It's probably the most nervous I've been my whole life," Heyob said. "I have my spot and that's the only place I can make them."
Magruder, the third seed in the tournament, trailed at the half, 1-0. The play centered almost exclusively in Bel Air's end, but the Colonels managed just one shot on goal.
At 19:19, the Bobcats converted one of their three shots on goal. Bel Air did not get any shots on goal the rest of the game.
Michelle Thomas took a pass from Teri Fox and punched it past Pellett for the early lead.
Magruder fought back though and evened the score at 42:40. The balance of the game had evened out and play moved up and down the field, but the Colonels finally capitalized on one of their six shots on goal.
Karin Zarchin brought the ball down the left sideline before crossing it all the way across the field. Denise Kuspa then tipped it to Stacy Stets, who knocked it in to tie the game.
"I didn't realize I was so close to the goal," Stets said. "Zarchin crossed it and it was right there."
With time in regulation winding down, the Colonels missed a golden chance to wrap up the game. At 53:08, Bel Air was whistled for a penalty shot. Heyob lined it up but didn't hit it squarely. The ball dribbled weakly towards the goalie, who easily stopped it.
In the first overtime, both teams had opportunities but failed to convert them. Early in the period, Zarchin sent another pass right across the goal mouth, but this time there was no one there to complete the play.
Bel Air brought the ball down on several breakaways but each time could not score. Thomas, open on the left side of the goal, took a pass but couldn't control it and never got off the shot.
Coach Nina Spiezio pointed to the team play that has carried Magruder throughout the season. "They were fantastic," she said. "It was a complete and total team effort. It was as if they took everything they knew and made it work for them."
It will have to work for Magruder one more time because they face top-seeded Calvert in Saturday's final. Calvert outlasted Liberty, 1-0, behind the spectacular play of goalie Jennifer Prowinski.
In a game that also went to overtime, Prowinski stopped Liberty's first stroke and Elena Moore scored on Calvert's opening stroke for the win.
Prowinski made 13 saves en route to her 13th shutout this year. She has surrendered only three goals the entire season.
In other action, Fallston defeated Middletown, 1-0, and Glenelg lost to Bennett by the same score in Class 2A action. In Class 1A, Easton beat Joppatown, 1-0, and Pocomoke was a 2-1 winner over Francis Scott Key.