With time ticking down on the clock, there was not much separating number-four Champlain Valley Union from number-five Rice in a scoreless Division I field hockey quarterfinal battle.
The two teams were scoreless, with similar shots on goals and identical penalty corner numbers. Overtime seemed a given.
Enter Clare Sheahan.
Rice’s leading scorer found the back of the net with 32 seconds remaining to lift the Green Knights to a 1-0 win over CVU and into the Division I semifinals.
“It was so tight, evenly matched,” Rice coach Kelly McClintock said. “It was an exciting playoff game.”
After the teams traded chances throughout the game, Rice was able to break through on their sixth penalty corner. The Green Knights capitalized on chaos in the circle, earning the set piece when the ball went off a CVU defender’s foot.
Rice capitalized on the chance, with Lisa McNamara feeding the ball to Sheahan who deposited it in the back of the net.
“It was pure joy,” McClintock said. “It was well played.”
Emily Rachek made six stops to earn the shutout for the Green Knights (12-2-1). Kristy Carlson finished with nine saves for the Redhawks.
“We actually had quite a few injuries, we were down four starters,” CVU coach Tucker Pierson said. “We pulled together.”
Champlain Valley wrapped the season at 7-4-4 and will graduate Kelsie Saia, Taya LePrevost, Stasha Rup, Sophia Gigliotti, Allie Pashby-Rockwood, Carly Labrie, Nicole Anderson, and Jamie Pashby-Rockwood.
“This was a new group and I think we came together really well as a team,” Pierson said.