Holton-Arms 1,

Georgetown Visitation 0

Holton-Arms field hockey coach Kim Hutcherson didn't have many experienced players to turn to on a second-half penalty corner yesterday against Georgetown Visitation. The next best thing proved to be Emily Tiernan's slap shot.

The junior midfielder with a background in ice hockey scored with 5 minutes 43 seconds to play in the game to lift the Panthers to a 1-0 win over the second-ranked Cubs in Bethesda.

"She's an ice hockey player and has great hand-eye coordination from that," Hutcherson said of Tiernan, who put her shot into the back corner. "She uses her field hockey stick very much like her ice hockey stick."

The goal preserved the sixth straight win for Holton-Arms (2-0, 2-0 Independent School League) over Georgetown Visitation (2-1, 2-1), a streak that dates from a 4-3 overtime loss in the 2000 league title game.

The Panthers, who earned just two penalty corners in the game, had to withstand a furious challenge from a far more experienced Cubs team. Georgetown Visitation had eight penalty corners in the second half, but struggled to get its best players in threatening scoring positions.

Neither team was able to get many good shots. Each goalkeeper was forced to make just three saves, each helped by outstanding defensive plays inside the circle.

"Neither of us got too many shots, so when we get the chance we just really just have to capitalize," Tiernan said. "They had some great shots, we had some great shots."

The final serious scoring chance for the Cubs came with just less than four minutes to play, as a shot from close in on the left side went screaming across the front of the goal mouth and over the end line.

When Tiernan was asked about Georgetown Visitation's final rush, the conversation went back to ice hockey.

"Have you seen 'Miracle,' where [the Americans] score and then have to hold on for eight minutes after that?" Tiernan asked, referring to the movie based on the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. men's ice hockey team. "Our whole intensity level just skyrocketed."

Visitation's players said the same thing, as Tiernan's goal ignited their final push for a goal.

"I think after they scored, we got fired up off of that," Georgetown Visitation forward Casey Hunt said. "The last seven minutes was excellent hockey on our part. I think if we had taken it into overtime, we would have taken it."

Instead, Holton-Arms -- which has just two seniors on the roster -- was able to stay composed, cramp the middle of the field and take away Georgetown Visitation's best scorers: Hunt, Mary Veith and Alicia Billings.

"When we scored the goal we just kept playing like we couldn't let them score or we'd lose," Holton-Arms's Sarah Reynolds said.

Holton-Arms's Emily Tiernan lines up and whacks game-winning shot against Georgetown Visitation with 5 minutes 43 seconds remaining in game.Holton-Arms players gather to celebrate team's sixth consecutive win over Georgetown Visitation.