WILMINGTON — St. Elizabeth’s field hockey game at Dickinson was barely two minutes old when the Vikings found themselves trailing, 1-0. Despite dominating possession and collecting at least seven penalty corner opportunities, St. Elizabeth could not get one ball past Rams goalkeeper Hilary Clark. In fact, they went into the half trailing, 2-0.
But the Vikings proved to be a resilient lot, keeping the pressure on Dickinson throughout the second half. They tied the game twice, then added another in overtime to take a 4-3 decision on Oct. 18.
In the extra session, Mackenzie Hilferty scored to complete the comeback.
The Vikings’ comeback began in the middle of the third quarter. After a drive by St. Elizabeth, Ella Ferris carried the ball into the scoring circle. She managed to get around Clark, and with the keeper out of position, Ferris had wide open spaces to knock in the goal.
Clark kept her team in the lead with a big save shortly after Ferris scored, and Vikings goalkeeper Alyssa Graziose stepped up after that. She stopped a Rams shot on a penalty corner, then added two more saves before a defender got in front of a shot.
Ferris tied the game with a few minutes left to go in the third at the conclusion of a Vikings counter following a Dickinson chance. Maddison Shields sent a pass to Ferris, who wrapped the ball around the keeper.
The Vikings’ defensive pressure generated several chances early in the fourth, but some missed the mark, while Clark made a few saves. Another attempt went inches wide.
Dickinson took advantage of its offensive opportunities much of the game, including in the fourth quarter. A penalty corner resulted in a big scramble in front of Graziose, but Maya Pedro parked herself near the left post, took a pass and tapped in the go-ahead goal.
St. Elizabeth coach Haley Will called a timeout and implored her squad not to give up, and they took the message to heart. After a restart, Ferris cashed in, completing the hat trick. The visitors had a two-on-one shortly thereafter, but the Rams’ Valentina Medina was able to break up that advance.
Dickinson’s Abigail Bledsoe got her team on the board first. After the Vikings failed to clear the ball from the scoring circle, Bledsoe found the open net for the initial goal. A penalty corner led to the second goal for the Rams, with Jessica Silver connecting on a long shot that missed several bodies on its way to the back of the cage.
Graziose had 10 saves for St. Elizabeth. The Vikings improved to 4-5 and will face Padua on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Chase Fieldhouse.
Clark made 10 saves for the Rams (6-5). They host Newark on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.