Leonhardt, Notre Dame strike quickly in OT to beat Carroll

PLYMOUTH TWP. — Following a frustrating, scoreless 60 minutes with Archbishop Carroll, the message for the Notre Dame field hockey team was simple. Score, and score quickly in the overtime period.

Taylor Leonhardt obliged. Irish forward Quinn Maguire, whose speed was a factor all game, weaved through the Patriots defense before finding Leonhardt with a pass. The senior right midfielder lifted the ball past Carroll goalie Kerri Mountz just 26 seconds into the extra frame to give Notre Dame a 1-0 victory.

“We knew we should have scored during (regulation),’ Leonhardt said. “We just tried to finish as quickly as possible.’

Irish coach Adele Williams used the intermission prior to overtime to calm her group.

“We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t capitalize,’ she said. “We needed to settle down. (Carroll) started with possession, so I told the girls to go in, win the ball, and let’s score.’

Notre Dame (2-1) controlled the majority of the game. The Irish outshot the Patriots 13-5. Eight of those shots came in the second half.

Mountz stood tall in goal for Carroll, kicking out several chances from in close. She was particularly strong with under five minutes remaining. Mountz made a kick save on Leonhardt and then knocked away the rebound shot from Danielle Bunten. Maguire also saw an effort to win the game denied by Carroll’s keeper.

“Their goalie was really good,’ Leonhardt said. “And they defended our corners really well. They sent two fliers out on each one. We tried a bunch of different things, but it didn’t work.’

Even if they didn’t succeed on the set plays, Notre Dame’s 12-5 advantage in corners reflected the Irish’s dominance on the offensive side of the field. Mountz thrived under the pressure.

“I like action plays in the circle. I’m always diving on the ground,’ the senior said of a Notre Dame attack she described as “scary.’ … “I’m always nervous. I mean, I’m a goalie. But I think the nerves help me get ready.’

Mountz believes that Carroll (2-1) is poised for a big season. Indeed, the Patriots had their fair share of chances, too. A Keara McNulty shot from distance just missed Gabby Carlini’s far post with time running out in the second half.

“It was a really good team effort,’ Mountz said. “I feel like we’ve gotten better every year. This is going to be one of biggest years yet.’

Irish captain Kirsten Mansfield, on the other hand, felt her team played a sloppy game, despite getting the win and the overwhelming majority of the chances. A season ago, two-time Daily Times player of the year Moira Putsch might have been there to finish a few of them. Mansfield isn’t using that as an excuse.

“No disrespect to Moira — she was definitely a great player,’ Mansfield said. “But we have a lot of returning players. We were just not playing like ourselves. … It was missed communication. I don’t think we were playing our best.’

That feeling motivated Mansfield and her teammates in overtime.

“We were frustrated with how everything was working,’ she said. “We just wanted to get it in as fast as possible.’

Frustration is a common theme at Notre Dame these days. The Irish were forced to host Carroll at Tee’s Golf center in Conshohocken, because their home field is currently under construction.

“I keep telling the girls ‘ It’s the bigger picture,” Williams said of her team’s traveling ways. “At the end of the day we’ll have our own turf field.’

And a home win on the road to take back as a souvenir. In other nonleague action :

Episcopal Academy 5, Bonner-Prendergast 0: The Churchwomen stormed out to a 3-0 halftime lead and never looked back in a shutout of the visiting Friars.

Senior captain Christy Palazzese scored twice and had an assist for Episcopal. Corrine Zanolli, Margaux Paolino and Angela Rocca also scored for the Churchwomen. The result might have been worse were it not for Bonner goalie Maggie Baldini’s superb effort in goal. She made 35 saves in the loss.

Marple Newtown 2, Norristown 1: Nicole Morrisey scored an overtime penalty stroke drawn by Corrine Smith to lead the Tigers to their first win of the season.

Gia DeAngelis scored in regulation for Marple Newtown, and Megan Peterson made eight saves in goal for Marple with strong defensive help from Kelly Houghton, Jaclyn Zaccarro and Kristen Rutecki.

In the Bicentennial League:

Lower Moreland 3, Delco Christian 2: Beth Yeung and Madison Moore scored for the host Knights. Jackie Barr contributed two assists, while Jamie Madison made five saves in goal for Delco Christian (1-3, 1-2), which tied the game at 2 in the second half before allowing a late game-winner.

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