Payne connects in OT to lift Academy Park

SHARON HILL >> When a field hockey team isn’t scoring many goals, it has to hope that the ball somehow will begin to find its way to the back of the cage.

“That’s a beautiful sound,” Academy Park senior Kayla Payne said Tuesday, describing what she heard when her shot late in overtime banged off the board at the back of the goal cage and gave AP a 4-3 Del Val League decision over Chichester.

It was the second consecutive OT victory for coach Susan Reutter’s squad (3-6-1, 1-3), which won at Harry S. Truman Monday, 2-1, on Abby Williams’ score, which was assisted by Payne.

“I was on the post, and Abby got the ball over,” Payne said of Tuesday’s winning play. “I wasn’t sure if it got under the goalie and was a goal. Then I heard my favorite sound.”

The next sounds she heard were the happy yells of her teammates, who rushed on to the field to congratulate her and celebrate their first league win.

Chichester’s Jonah Majedas and Academy Park’s Zyah Newsome traded goals three minutes apart in the first half, then Newsome gave the home team the lead in the opening minute of the second half, assisted by Williams.

Chi countered eight minutes later when Haley Fritz finished a play that Carly Lanza had started. Sophomore Riley Street put Academy Park ahead nine minutes before the half ended, but Majedas got the Eagles even with four minutes left.

“My coach has been telling me to stay low and bend my knees,” Street said. “I come up here sometimes early Saturday morning to work on my lift shots.”

Goalie Veronica Bauman gave Academy Park a lift with three saves in the overtime period, and Payne patiently waited for her chance, which came 28 seconds before extra time would have expired and the game would have ended in a tie.

“That’s the most goals we’ve scored in a game this year,” Reutter said. “The goals were set up by numerous people. It’s good to see us getting to the other end of the field and finishing.

“We’ve been playing a lot better and building to something like this. We won in overtime (Monday) and (Tuesday), so we’ll give their legs a rest and just look at the films (Wednesday). Then we play at Interboro Thursday night.”

Payne, who is looking at Temple and Immaculata and trying to decide whether to study nursing or criminal justice, also scored a game-winning goal in overtime last season.

“Our team has come together,” she said. “We’re really looking (forward) to the Del Val games we have left.”

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