Above: Feeling a hard-earned win. Submitted photo
By Tommy Sprague
The Avengers Field Hockey team’s third regular season game took place on Wednesday, Sept. 13, against the La Salle Rams under the lights at McCarthy Stadium in Providence. The Avengers traveled north to face another difficult Division I opponent in what were challenging weather conditions. Forecasts of heavy rain and a possible tornado added to the tension and it was apparent as the game got started.
Possession was back and forth during the first half at midfield as both teams struggled to move the ball on the offensive side of the field. Weather was certainly a factor as both teams found themselves with very few chances at the cage. Despite a determined defensive stance from the Avengers all-junior midfield line – Ellie Picard, Maeve Kiernan, and Olivia Prior along with EG defenders Lia Cameron, Catherine Neville, and Sachi Chan – La Salle was able to put one in the back of the goal with three minutes left in the first half.
During the half-time break, both teams sought shelter as the relentless rain continued. Soaked completely through but undeterred, the teams took the field once again. The third quarter was similar to much of the first half with both teams struggling on offense. LaSalle looked like they might get another one on a breakaway one-on-one, but EG goalie Layla Cameron made a heroic save that thwarted the Rams’ attempt at sparking their offense.
The fourth quarter proved to be a big one for EG. The Avengers picked up their offensive attack making it clear to the crowd that they were determined to come back from the 1-0 deficit. With six minutes left in the game, senior Grace Burbridge emerged as the team’s needed hero. She executed a tremendous reverse sweep from the circle that tied the match 1-1. Emotions on both sides of the field were high and the intensity of play was at its apex. As the clock ticked down to 20 seconds and the rain continued to pour, it felt as though the teams were destined for overtime. Midfielder Ellie Picard had other plans. She drove the ball to the circle where she found, yet again, Grace Burbridge whose last second strike hit the back of the net as time ran out. The EG bench erupted and charged the field to celebrate an incredible finish. EG’s record improves to 2-1 after this victory and a win against Lincoln School (8-0) earlier in the week. The Avengers are scheduled to play Cumberland at home Monday.
Tommy Sprague is a team parent. Our thanks to him for covering Girls LAX. EG News is looking for similarly motivated sports enthusiasts to help us cover other EG sports. If you are interested, contact [email protected]. It’s fun!