ASTON – Archbishop Prendergast junior Brooke Stretch’s goal 12:07 into a sudden-death, second overtime period lifted Prendie to a 1-0 victory over Cardinal O’Hara in the Catholic League field hockey championship Nov. 2 at Neumann University.
The Pandas, who on Nov. 7 are scheduled to face Philadelphia Public League playoff winner Northeast High in the PIAA Class AAA District 12 championship, had defeated regular-season champion Archbishop Carroll in similar fashion Oct. 29 in the semifinals.
It was Stretch who came to the rescue against Carroll as well. Her overtime tally shocked the Patriots and gave the fourth-seeded Pandas a chance to meet second-seeded O’Hara in the final. There, Stretch took a pass from junior Kelsey McCrossin and finally provided the game’s only offense.
The title triumph helped ease the pain of losing last year’s final to Kennedy-Kenrick in overtime.
The Pandas may not have been celebrating had it not been for senior goalie Emily Moran, who made several pivotal saves in the seven-on-seven overtime to keep the frustrated Lions at bay.
Next week: An interview with Prendie’s overtime specialist Brooke Stretch.
– John Knebels