CLAYMONT – Katie Raab scored on a penalty shot with 1:22 left in overtime to give Concord a 2-1 victory over Archmere in the field hockey opener for both teams on Sept. 5 in Claymont.
The goal came after a spectacular save by Auks keeper Maura Smeader on a shot from Macy Kosanovich, who spent much of the afternoon in the circle in front of Smeader. On the save, however, the ball was pinned under Smeader’s pads, prompting the penalty shot call. Raab sent the ball waist-high to Smeader’s right to end the contest.
The Raiders had 24 penalty corner opportunities beginning with 10:40 remaining in the first half and the score tied, 1-1. They were unable, however, to convert on any of those chances, and it appeared the Auks might escape with a tie despite Concord’s decided advantage in possession time.
Smeader came up big time and again as Kosanovich, Raab and others went on the attack. Kosanovich shot wide five minutes into the second half, and the Raiders could not take advantage of four penalty corners and a few Auks turrnovers over the next three and a half minutes. Smeader also blocked one of Kosanovich’s shots during that stretch.
Kosanovich was stoned again at the 14:15 mark after deking around two Auks defenders. Raab sent one off a post with 10:45 to go in regulation. Shortly after that, Amelia Christensen took a ball that glanced off the face of the Auks’ Lindsey Renshaw and sent it toward Smeader, who made the stop high. Three more penalty corners before the end of regulation proved futile.
The Raiders had several more opportunities in the extra session, but Archmere fought off every one of them until Raab’s winner.
The Auks had a few good chances during the contest, but just two penalty corners. They converted on the first one, as Sophie Castro fed Renshaw, who sent a ball through traffic and past Raiders keeper Meghan McCullin. Briley Strine had a shot saved with a few minutes left in the first. Their best chance to win in overtime came with 5:40 to go, when, after taking over on a turnover, Bella Dell’Oso tried to feed a streaking Castro in the circle, but McCullin kicked the ball out of harm’s way.
Concord finished with 12 shots to four for the Auks, and the penalty corners favored the Raiders, 24-2. Concord (1-0) visits Sanford next Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start. The Auks are off until next Thursday, when they welcome St. Elizabeth for a 3:45 p.m. start.