Shelby Phares had one shot against Fairfield Ludlowe, and she made it count. With one minute left in overtime, Phares snapped a scoreless tie to notch a dramatic win for Staples High School field hockey. It was the latest chapter in a growing rivalry between the Wreckers and Falcons on the field hockey pitch, in a rematch of last year's qualifying round.
"I couldn't get a shot off the whole game, and the one time I do I scored the winning goal in overtime. I can't even describe it," said an ecstatic Phares. "The entire game I felt I wasn't playing my best, but I got that one moment and it was amazing."
Phares' goal was the latest in the sophomore's breakout season on the varsity squad. It was an incredibly even match, with each team trading blow for blow. Both had equal shots on goal (6) and equal penalty corner shots (9), and it took nearly 70 minutes to decide a winner. Both teams had plenty of opportunities to put the game away, but goalies Jenn Hoets for Staples and Jillian Moffett for Ludlowe brought their A-games. In the end, Hoets was just one save better.
Fairfield's best opportunity came late in the second half when Staples was called for a foul inside the box, giving Elise Perazzini a chance at a penalty shot. She lifted a wrister high and wide-left, though, keeping the game scoreless. It was a moment that got Hoets' adrenaline pumping.
"Man, I hate those penalty shots. It's a goalie's worst nightmare. It's kind of like a near-death experience where everything slows down," Hoets said with a laugh. "I was pulling everything out of me to keep the ball out of the net. I really wanted the shutout, so this feels good."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.