Team's walking wounded pull Vikings from brink of defeat

September 20, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Leave it to the walking wounded to pull Mount Hebron's field hockey team out of a jam.

Friday against visiting Perry Hall, Hebron trailed 1-0 midway through the second half. The Vikings had managed few scoring threats.

Perry Hall, which had broken on top four minutes into the game on a goal by Amy Baker, seemed destined to hand Hebron its first defeat. Then, suddenly, the Vikings' wounded struck.

First, senior Tierney Clark, sporting a mask to protect the surgically repaired nose she broke at a summer basketball camp, scored on a penalty corner with 17:03 left to even the score.

Then, junior Carey Butera, who had left the game earlier after taking a wicked shot to the lower back, answered with a goal with 9:26 left to give the Vikings a 2-1 victory.

The victory gave the Vikings a 2-0 record, their best start under third-year coach Jeanette Ireland.

"We realize we don't have the athletic skills that a lot of teams have in the county, so we just work hard and work well together," Clark said. "And we have a lot of heart."

Butera certainly proved that. Forty seconds before Clark tied the score with a bouncing shot into the left corner of the cage, Butera absorbed a hard drive at close range from Perry Hall's Erin Ward.

After lying on the ground briefly, Butera walked off the field in obvious pain, rubbing a spot on her lower back where the ball had hit her.

But eight minutes later, there was Butera winning the game on a gutty play. She started the score with a shot from just outside the circle, then darted through several players to finish her own shot, as the ball settled in an open spot in front of the cage.

"I had this feeling she [Ward] was going to drive it hard, so I turned my back," said Butera of the play that forced her out of the game. Butera pulled a back muscle earlier in the week. Ward's drive struck her in the

spot that has bothered her.

"That's why this goal meant so much to me," Butera added.

It also meant a lot to Hebron, which is hoping to challenge for the county title for the first time in years.

The game was reminiscent of last year's victory over Perry Hall, a come-from-behind affair the Vikings won in overtime. Hebron went on to make the playoffs, although the Vikings failed in their bid for a county championship.

Ireland is hoping this Perry Hall victory is the start of something bigger.

"It always feels good to beat Perry Hall, because they are such a solid team," Ireland said. "We made a lot of mistakes because they [Perry Hall] forced them. We need to clean up our stickwork a little bit. But we executed when we had to."

Added Butera, "I think the county title is definitely up in the air. And if we keep working together, we definitely have a chance to win it."

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