Field Hockey Wins NEPSAC Championship

belinskas2The fourth-seeded Williston Northampton girls varsity field hockey emerged as champions in the NEPSAC Class B Tournament this weekend after three exciting wins, multiple overtimes, and one incredible shootout goal.

The Wildcats, who ended the season with a 14-3-2 record, defeated Hopkins School (13-4) at Galbraith Field on Wednesday by 4-2  to move on to the semi-final round. Goal scorers for Williston were Delaney Belinskas (2), Meg Szawlowski, and Lauren Helm.

The team then traveled to Governor’s Academy (16-2) on Saturday to face the top seed, a team that had lost only one game during the season. Williston played an inspired game, turning away a number of scoring opportunities by Govs in the first half and entering the second half in a scoreless tie.

Governors scored early in the second half on a quick rebound. It took the Wildcats almost 20 more minutes, but Lauren Helm ’16 hammered a shot in from the top of the circle to tie the game with eight minutes left on the clock. The game moved to overtime, a  7v7, sudden-victory format. Both teams had great scoring opportunities, but it all ended when Delaney Belinskas ’16 got a breakaway 30 yards out, dodged around the goalie, and scored the game winner. Morgan Fogleman ’16 had an absolutely outstanding game in net for the ‘Cats.

Sunday’s championship game, played at Pomfret School, pitted Williston against second-seeded Middlesex (17-3). The Wildcats got off to a fast start and had numerous corners, but couldn’t find the back of the net. With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Meg Szawlowski ’16 put the Wildcats up 1-0.

The fh goalteam continued to play well and took that lead into the second half. Middlesex gained control of the game early in the second half and scored a pair of goals, the first three minutes in and the second just five minutes later. Williston was struggling offensively, but earned a corner and an Izzy Tegtemeyer ’16 and Alexis Ryan ’17 combination tied the game with 8:30 remaining.

The score remained deadlocked 2-2 at the end of regulation. The teams then played two, 10-minute, 7v7, sudden-victory overtime periods. Both teams had outstanding chances, and what appeared to be sure goals, but the overtimes ended scoreless.

The game then headed to a shootout. In the first round each team alternated shooters with five players participating.  Williston fell behind 0-2 and things looked bleak, but then rallied with three goals and two key saves by goalie Fogleman to end the round still tied.

In the next shootout round, the format moved to sudden victory, where the first team to score and stop their opponent would win the game. Middlesex went first and Fogleman forced their shot wide of the goal. Belinskas was Williston’s next shooter and outmaneuvered the Middlesex goalkeeper to put the ball in. This incredible goal by the senior gave Williston their first New England Championship in field hockey.

fh team champs2

Congrats to the girls on a tremendous championship run!

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