Jefferson goalie Rachel Miller popped out of her crouch, extended her arm and, after two grueling overtimes, delicately blocked away the first penalty stroke she saw with her stick.

It was that save that set the tone for No. 5 Jefferson's 3-0 win in penalty strokes over No. 7 Lake Braddock in a Northern Region tournament first-round field hockey game last night in Oakton. The teams were scoreless at the end of regulation and two 15-minute overtimes.

"It's so important just to start if off on the right foot," said Miller, who made saves on all three shots she saw in the shootout. "I don't even think about what's going on in their head. I don't even look at their face. I just look at the ball."

Juliana Litts, Ruth Isenstadt and Kendall Stone scored the penalty strokes for Jefferson (16-2). Each team had several good chances in overtime. Leslie Cabe's excellent speed and stick work gave the Bruins (15-5) a chance to win, but her shot with six minutes left in the second overtime went just wide.

The Colonials also needed penalty strokes last Thursday to reach the AAA Concorde District final that was played the next day.

At least this time, Jefferson has a day to recover before it plays AAA Liberty District tournament champion Madison tomorrow.

"You think it's over, but then in two days you have another game," Stone said. "I think it was worse on Thursday because you play a full 90 minutes and then have to go straight to another game." . . . Heather Bresnahan's penalty stroke goal with 9 minutes 27 seconds to play sparked a string of four straight goals, lifting host South River to a 5-2 victory over Broadneck in a Maryland 4A East Region field hockey semifinal game.

Broadneck freshman Brigitte Strother scored twice early in the second half to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. But defending region champion South River (13-3) did not wilt. Bresnahan's penalty stroke, awarded when a player from Broadneck (11-5) stopped an apparent goal with her body, tied the game at 2. The Seahawks took the lead three minutes later on a goal by Alden Wicker.

South River advanced to Thursday's region final against top-seeded Patuxent, a 1-0 winner over Chesapeake yesterday.

Reynolds Moves Up at Northern

Northern has named Tony Reynolds its girls' basketball coach, replacing Clarence Tennell, who is now coaching the Patriots' boys' team. Reynolds had been Northern's junior varsity coach the past two seasons.

Alan Goldenbach contributed to this report.