Good Counsel senior Cybele Coskun was long hesitant about becoming a goalie. She was scared of facing Coach Kelly Massino’s shots, and filling the net in place of the graduated Sheahan Collins was a daunting task.
“Being a goalie takes a lot of confidence,” Coskun said. “I felt like it was a big responsibility, and I didn’t feel prepared for it.”
Over time she warmed to it, and with the Falcons in double-overtime against St. John’s in the Washington Catholic Athletic Association field hockey final Sunday at Catholic University, Coskun’s newfound confidence showed when she stared down Clara Morrison on a breakaway.
“There were no thoughts going through my mind; it was all physical,” Coskun said.
Her save gave the Falcons the opportunity to win, and that’s what they did, 2-1, on senior Sydney Sweeney’s goal to clinch their first WCAC championship since 2014.
The Falcons had faced St. John’s in the championship the past three years. While they had won regular season matchups, they never could put it together in the final.
This year, St. John’s cruised through the regular season, shutting out opponents in each match in October, including a 2-0 win against Good Counsel.
That Falcons loss didn’t rattle Coskun, who says “you can’t lose confidence after having a goal scored on you.” Two minutes into the game, St. John’s senior midfielder Clara Morrison scored on her off a corner.
“I’m not gonna lie, I was freaking out,” Sweeney said. “In our past games against St. John’s, we’ve always had the issue where the score ends up 2-0.”
But the Falcons hung in, and after Coach Kelly Massino called a timeout 9 1/2 minutes into the first half, junior Lauren Gerold knotted the game off a tip play.
“We’d been working a lot on tips all season,” Massino said. “We’ve been working on really big crosses with tips and Lauren finished that perfectly.”
St. John’s had six attempts off corners, but Coskun and the Falcons defense jumped on every loose ball, blocking passing lanes and shooting the ball downfield.
In the second overtime, the Falcons finally converted that defense into offense. After a Coskun save, Sweeney received the ball and raced downfield alone.
“I told her earlier today that she was going to be the one to finish it,” Massino said.
With the game on her stick, Sweeney beat St. John’s keeper Hennessy Sak and then fell to the turf as her teammates sprinted off the bench to celebrate.
“I saw that it was just me and the goalie, and I slammed it in as hard as I could, didn’t turn back,” Sweeney said.