Because of production problems this article did not appear in some of yesterday's editions. An entire field hockey season seemed to be slipping away from Francis Scott Key yesterday when Jessica Sutherland and Laurie Ryer barely hit the ball on the team's first two strokes of a best-of-five game-deciding situation against Kent County in the state Class 1A semifinals at Goucher College.
Sutherland just threw her stick away in frustration as she returned to her teammates, and Ryer was disconsolate over her mis-hit.
The state tournament-tested and top-seeded Key team wasn't coming through under pressure against a fourth-seeded squad that was making its first appearance in the state tournament.
Kent County took advantage of Key's problems for a 2-0 lead in strokes and it appeared the Eagles might not regroup.
But Jen McDaniel sent Key's third stroke high into the cage, and the Eagles went on to win, 2-1, on overtime strokes.
Key advances to the 1A championship game against Pocomoke at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Goucher. Key will be seeking its fifth state field hockey title in the 19-year history of the tournament.
Pocomoke, which defeated Key, 1-0, in the 1A semifinals last year, earned the right yesterday to meet the Eagles by beating North East, 1-0, at Goucher College.
When McDaniel was asked what was going through her mind when her two teammates missed badly on the first two strokes, the junior said, "I was scared."
When McDaniel narrowed the strokes deficit to 2-1 with two rounds to go, the tide had turned.
Key's Missy Muller stopped Erica McDowell's hard shot that would have clinched a Kent County victory in the fifth round of strokes, and then Holly Talbert whipped a shot past Kent goalie Melissa Price to tie the score at 2.
That sent the game into overtime single-round strokes. After Talbert's shot was saved by Price on Key's first overtime stroke, Kent's Anna Goodall rifled a bullet that bounced away off the pipe. Then McDaniel put what proved to be the winning stroke into the left corner.
Tammy Seip had one last chance to tie the strokes for Kent County (13-3), but she mis-hit the ball.
All this came after the two teams had played to a 1-1 draw after 80 fast-paced minutes, including 20 minutes of sudden-death overtime.
Kent County scored first, on Christyl Arrabal's goal less than three minutes into the game. Key tied it with 7:17 left in the first half when Sutherland tipped in a high scoop shot off a corner situation.
Key (12-1-2) twice failed to score on penalty strokes from 21 feet that could have given it a 2-1 lead.