CONSHOHOCKEN >> Maybe it was the full moon the night before.
Or was it just pre-game jitters, or a case of thinking too much?
Whatever explanation seemed to fit the situation became acceptable to Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast field hockey coach Joanne Dolan and Mary Frances Brosious, mother of Pandas senior Carly Brosious. All was fine shortly after Bonner & Prendie earned a 3-2 overtime win against Archbishop Carroll in the Catholic League championship game Friday night.
“The stars are aligning,” Dolan said of the way her team (14-6) has put together a seven-game winning streak to qualify for the District 12 Class AA title contest at the Germantown Super Site Saturday afternoon. A win in that match would put the Pandas in the PIAA Class AA tournament for the second consecutive season.
Mary Frances Brosious has three daughters who played for championship field hockey teams at Carroll.
“I got up (Friday) morning thinking about the three plaques at Carroll,” the former Haverford High field hockey and ice hockey standout said. “And now tonight there’s one plaque to take back to Bonner & Prendergast.”
Carly Brosious joined her older sisters as a Catholic League field hockey champion when she scored 1:39 into overtime off a feed on a penalty corner from Allison Martin.
Martin made the extra playing time possible when she knocked in a pass from Brosious with 17.3 seconds remaining in the second half, which Bonner & Prendie had dominated without scoring until Martin came to the rescue.
The Martin/Brosious combination put the finishing touches on the Pandas’ perfect run through the Catholic League and touched off a frenzied celebration among the students, parents and teachers who were part of a large and loud crowd at Villanova University Hockey Field at the Proving Grounds.
When the teams met during the regular season, Brosious scored the deciding goal late in a 3-2 Bonner & Prendie victory.
“In August, we set our team goals — to go undefeated in the (Philadelphia Catholic League) and win the PCL championship,” Dolan said. “Then our season started out slowly when we lost three of our first four games.
“We learned and improved as a team and never took our eye off the prize. When we changed things, our players became comfortable with the changes. We’ve been playing our best at exactly the right time.”
Bonner & Prendergast got off to a good start Friday, getting a goal in the seventh minute from Katie Caruso, assisted by freshman Reagan Dolan, who was a solid presence all over the field.
Carroll put only one shot on goal in the opening half, but it came off the stick of Maeve Riehman 5:34 before the break and tied the score.
It took the Pats less than two minutes into the second half to go ahead on a rebound goal by Katie LaBella.
As the second half moved along, B&P’s advantage in penalty corners continued to grow, but Carroll got big defensive efforts from Carly Bateman and Hannah Bateman.
Martin spoiled the Pats’ hopes of a celebration after Brosious controlled the ball in the corner and sent it across the scoring circle late in the second half.
“It took us a long time getting here today,” Martin said. “I know I was thinking about this game all day. We worked hard, but we almost ran out of time. Carly always puts the ball there perfectly, and I try to hit it in.”
Brosious deflected the credit back at Martin.
“She’s good at that,” Brosious, the Catholic League’s most valuable player, said. “If I come across and send it in, she’ll get to it.
“The overtime was crazy. I just said to myself that this is my senior year, and I couldn’t mess up this chance.”
She didn’t let that happen, which was why her teammates lifted her on their shoulders during the postgame pandemonium.
“We had people doing things for us all over the field,” Joanne Dolan said. “They played together very nicely.”
Which is why the Pandas will have the chance to play for a district title Saturday and in the state tournament Tuesday.