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Springfield edges Unionville in OT to advance to district final

MARPLE >> Surviving a furious late comeback by Unionville, Springfield eked out a 10-9 overtime win in the PIAA District 1 3A semifinal at Cardinal O’Hara High School Tuesday evening.

Springfield junior midfielder Belle Mastropietro made the winning shot with one minute left overtime. Three days earlier, the Temple University commit made several big plays crucial to the Cougars’ 8-6 win against Downingtown East in the district quarterfinals.

“I was glad Belle made the winning shot,” Springfield head coach Keith Broome said. “Belle has a good, hard shot, and we’re always telling her that she doesn’t shoot enough.”

With Tuesday’s victory, Springfield (18-3), the No. 2 seed, advances to the District 1 Class 3A final, where the Cougars will face top-seeded Garnet Valley in an all-Central League matchup at West Chester Henderson High School Thursday at 4 p.m.

With six minutes to go in regulation Tuesday, Springfield held a 9-6 lead, but Unionville rallied. Indian senior midfielder Erin Garvey scored her fourth goal of the game with 3:05 left to make it 9-8. With 33.5 seconds left in regulation, Garvey got the ball again and scored nine seconds later to tie it up at 9-9.

“I thought we got a little tired at the end,” Broome said. “We were trying to care of the [9-6] lead, but Unionville’s hustle and speed caused us to make mistakes. We had that same situation against Conestoga [in the second round of Districts May 17], where we led 11-7, but they came back to make it 11-10.”

With 24 seconds left in regulation Tuesday, Unionville won the draw control, and moved the ball into Springfield territory. The ball changed hands between both teams several times, and with 1.8 seconds left, Springfield sophomore goalie Aidan Gallagher made a nice save (her seventh) to force overtime.

“I thought Aidan played really well today,” Broome said of Gallagher, who made nine saves in the Cougars’ 8-6 win against Downingtown East. “Defensively, I thought we did really well in closing space, particularly in overtime when we got the key ground ball. I thought [junior] Emma O’Connor in particular did a nice job of closing space.”

Both Dana Carlson and Olivia Little had hat tricks for Springfield, and Mastropietro scored two goals.

For No. 3 seed Unionville (20-2), Garvey finished with five goals and one assist, and Annie McDonough chipped in with two goals and one assist.

Indian goalie Madison Doucette, whom Broome referred to as “the best goalie in the state,” recorded seven saves against Springfield Tuesday.

The Northwestern University-bound Doucette is one of a cast of talented Indian seniors, including University of Michigan-bound Erin Garvey, midfielder Veronica Hineman (Duke) and attack Hannah Close (Coastal Carolina). Earlier this spring, Garvey scored her 200th career goal, Hineman won her 100th draw control of the season, and Doucette collected more than 100 saves for the 2018 campaign.

For the Indians, the season is not over – they’re one of seven 3A teams from District 1 that will advance to the PIAA 3A state tournament.

Unionville head coach Suzanne Sheehan said, “When we were trailing 9-6, I reminded the team about how much talent we have and that we have the ability to come back. Our comeback showed drive and determination, Erin Garvey had a great game, we’re still in [States] and we can go very far. This loss just makes us a little bit hungrier.”

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