River Hill has last word on Centennial in OT

Hostetler scores 6 times, including 2 in extra period

Girls lacrosse

April 26, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

After 56 minutes of intense lacrosse yesterday, River Hill's Laura Hostetler could barely stand. At the final buzzer, she staggered to the bench, slumped to the ground and let out a long sigh of relief.

It was all the celebration she could muster.

No worries. Hostetler was magnificent when it mattered most yesterday, scoring six times to help the visiting Hawks win a 9-8 overtime thriller over rival Centennial. River Hill, which blew a two-goal lead with under two minutes to play in regulation, got by on guts and empty gas tanks in overtime, as Hostetler scored twice to wrap up the Hawks' biggest win of the year.

"I just knew I had to get the ball at the end of the game because we weren't winning the draws," Hostetler said. "They played great, but we just came up big when we had to. I am so tired right now."

Who wasn't? Thanks to gritty, physical play by both teams, just about every player needed to take a moment to catch her breath when it was over. For the Hawks, it meant the chance to thank goalie Brittany Friedrich, whose nine clutch saves helped quash a furious Centennial rally.

"We stuck together at the end when we could have come apart," Friedrich said. "That was a big key. We just need to keep talking to each other, to keep believing. It was frustrating how we let them come back, but it was really exciting once we knew we had it."

Both teams had suffered double overtime losses to Glenelg just recently, so it was no surprise to see the Eagles and Hawks evenly matched. Two early goals by Hostetler and one by Amanda Tack gave River Hill a 3-2 lead at halftime, but it was clear things were just heating up. Sticks and elbows flew loose and fast all day, and neither team was willing to blink.

River Hill midfielder Jen Green and teammate Robyn Bishop did a decent job checking the Eagles' two best players, Kelly Renzi and Chelsea Parks, but the duo busted loose just after halftime, scoring a goal each to help Centennial charge back and take a 5-3 lead. But River Hill answered, scoring four straight goals (two by Hostetler in transition) to take a 7-5 lead into the final two minutes.

In overtime, Hostetler simply took over. Centennial's Lauren Mathews gave the Eagles a brief 8-7 lead, but Hostetler answered by scoring twice in less than a minute, and the Hawks' defense closed out the win.

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