Field Hockey: Pioneers Battle Comets in Overtime Thriller
On Friday morning, the Pioneer field hockey team opened their season for a non-section matchup against the Penn Manor Comets. The Pioneers and the Comets have history, as the Comets defeated the Pioneers in last year's league championship game. It's a new era for the Comets, as long-time head coach Matt Soto stepped down at the end of last season.
The Pioneers struck first, with Tori Heiserman finding the goal off a fine pass from Emaly Garrett. The rest of the first half was mainly uneventful, with both teams having chances but failing to convert on them.
After being under pressure for almost the entirety of the beginning of the half, the Pioneer defense finally relented towards the end of the third quarter. After three corners, Grace Gerner finally equalized the score from short range. The Comets had a chance to win it with just a few minutes left, but the shot hit the frame of the goal and harmlessly bounced away.
Each team had their chance to win it in sudden-death overtime, but both goalies had other ideas. Brooke Zuber in particular was amazing throughout the game, recording 11 saves. After several miraculous diving saves, the Comets finally broke through in the waning minutes of overtime to claim the win. Isabel Thatcher recorded the golden goal, with Riley Robinson getting credit for the assist.
The Comets start the season off with a win but have another tough test in hosting Manheim Central Wednesday night. The Pioneers open the season with a heartbreaking loss but have plenty of positives to take away from a thrilling matchup. They'll look to enter the win column Wednesday night in Lititz against the Warriors.