WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Juniata field hockey team won their sixth Landmark Championship in thrilling fashion, as they defeated No.11 Catholic, 2-1, in overtime, Saturday afternoon. The win marks the fifth time the Eagles defeated Catholic to claim the conference title.
Katie Alexander (Mifflinburg, Pa. / Mifflinburg) scored the game winner and added an assist. Catherine Lanigan (Boonton, N.J. / Parsippany HS) scored the tying goal in regulation while Grace Alexander (Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg) had the assist on the winner.
The Eagles got off to a bumpy start as they took no shots in the first half while Catholic managed six. Catholic scored in the 15th minute of the game when they played the ball in high and deflected it in for the only goal of the first half.
Juniata began to take control in the second half, and in the 39th minute they found an equalizer. K. Alexander played the ball in from the left side and found Lanigan in front of the cage who beat the keeper to make it 1-1. The Eagles took nine shots in the second half while the Cardinals took seven.
A tense overtime period saw Catholic hold a 2-0 edge in shots and take one penalty corner. Kylie Edwards (Danville, Pa./Danville) turned away the first shot and an Eagle defender managed to block the second. In the 74th minute, K. Alexander corralled a loose ball and scored from close range to give the Eagles their sixth championship.
After the game, head coach Caroline Gillich talked about how proud she was of her team. "They are all super-talented players, but it was who they are as people that won us the game."
This team has appeared in six overtime games this season, including the past four games. They were 5-1 overall in overtime games and won two by shootouts.
Juniata moves to 13-6 and earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and will find out who they play Monday.