SPRINGFIELD >> Julianna Kratz scored late in overtime as the Mount St. Joseph field hockey team clinched a PIAA berth with a 1-0 victory over visiting Bishop Shanahan in the District 1-AA quarterfinals Friday afternoon.
“It’s awesome,” Kratz said. “As a whole we worked really, really well together and we had some good passes and we did really good and connected a lot we just didn’t finish for the most part. But if felt good to finish at the end.”
Kratz’s tally was a big relief for the second-seeded Magic, which controlled most of the contest but twice had ball hit off the post – both on shots by Grace Wallis – and could not take advantage of 15 penalty corners.
But it was on a penalty corner cleared out of the circle by No. 10 Shanahan in the 7-on-7 overtime that the Mount finally capitalized on. The Magic regained possession in the Eagles’ half of the field and a Margaret Lynch sent a ball back into the circle that was tipped by a Shanahan defender and fell right to Kratz. The sophomore put a soft shot past outcoming goalkeeper Caressa Gentile at 3:05 to start the Mount’s celebration.
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“After we lost it, we pressured back a lot which really helped because Marge got the ball and she had an awesome cross into the center” Kratz said.
The win gives Mount St. Joseph its first berth into the state tournament since in made the Class AAA field as the fifth seed in 2012. The Magic move on to the semifinals to host No. 6 West Chester East – a 2-1 winner Friday over No. 3 West Chester Henderson – Tuesday.
“It’s awesome feeling. I know we wanted it so badly,” said Kratz of Mount making states. “We know that if we’d lost we’d have to play another game and that we would try even harder but we tried our best, we connected our passes really well and it was just a really, really good game.”
No. 10 Bishop Shanahan gave Mount’s defense some trouble with its speed up top and forced nine corners – including two in overtime – but had trouble with the grass field at Mount
“My girls played hard and it was a tough adjustment to the grass which took a little bit of time to get used to,” Shanahan coach Nancy Roselli said. “And it just didn’t go our way today.”
Gentile made 13 saves for the Eagles, which still have a chance to earn District 1’s fifth and final bid to the PIAA playoffs as they visit Henderson in playbacks Tuesday.
“We’ve just got to not let this get us down,” Roselli said. “And believe in ourselves. We have really good chances against a team that are still in. I don’t know who won Henderson and East yet but we played both of those teams and we were within a goal so it’s definitely within our reach.”
Wallis hit the post once in each half. In the first half, she hit the right post after slicing through the Eagles defense in the circle then after halftime hit the right post again on a corner.
Mount came close to ending things early in OT with a two-on-none with Gentile by a whiffed shot kept the Eagles alive.