Haverford’s DiGaetano puts up stop sign

HAVERFORD >> Before taking time off over the weekend, Haverford High’s field hockey team had some worked that needed to be done.
“After practice (Friday) we really worked hard on penalty strokes,” senior midfielder Tess Horan said.
Her coach explained the reason for that.
“You never know when they will come up in a game,” Beth Coffey said.
The penalty stroke that was called Monday during the Fords’ District One Class AAA playoff opener against Oxford came with 1:56 to play.
Oxford junior Sarah Johnson got off a hard, low drive to the left of Haverford senior goalie Emily DiGaetano. While the Fords players, coaches and fans held their breath, DiGaetano stuck out a glove, keeping the ball from entering the goal cage and saving Haverford’s 2-1 victory.
The 12th-seeded Fords (14-5) will be on the road Wednesday for a second-round match against No. 5 Conestoga (17-2), a 9-1 winner over Strath Haven Monday.
DiGaetano had never faced a penalty stroke as a varsity goalie before Monday’s game.
“It really was the first one,” said the Susquehanna-bound goalie, who plays for the Philadelphia Hockey club team. “We’ve been working on them at practice, and I’ve been working on not letting things get into my head.
“I just tried to stay focused on the ball all the time. Sometimes girls will give away which way they are going to shoot. This time I just kept my eyes on the ball the whole time.”
After she had made the save, DiGaetano accepted congratulations from her teammates before resuming her concentration on the ball until the final whistle sounded.
“She really had a nice game,” Coffey said of her goalie.
Horan also played well, helping set up Lea VanLuvender and Laura Winters for first-half goals after Oxford’s Miranda Peretta opened the scoring in the seventh minute.
“She just does so much for us,” Coffey said of Horan, who will play at Drexel University next fall. “I’m really going to be sorry to see her go. Our seniors have really worked hard, and she’s been one of them all of the time.”
Coffey also had good things to say about center back VanLuvender.
“She’s another person who always works so hard,” Coffey said. “She’s a great player who does things to help us in a lot of ways.
“Last year, we didn’t get past the first game in the playoffs. You don’t have to say much when something like that happens. You just want to remind them how bad that feeling was so they don’t have to go through that again.”
In other district playoff action:
Conestoga 9, Strath Haven 1 >> Meredith Ross did most of the damage as the fifth-seeded Pioneers (16-2) rolled over the Panthers to advance to the second round of the District One Tournament.
Ross scored six times and Emma McGillis added two goals to help Conestoga extend its winning streak to six games. Freshman Charlotte DeVries and sophomore Grace McEvoy turned in a strong game in the midfield for the Pioneers.
DeVries had one goal and two assists, while McEvoy chipped in with an assist.
The Pioneers defeated the Fords, 6-3, during the regular season. Conestoga’s only losses were to Unionville and Downingtown East, the top two seeds in the Class AAA tournament.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply