It was a tie, but it felt like a win.
The Plumstead Christian field hockey team came from behind to tie non-league opponent Conwell-Egan, 1-1, in overtime, on Friday at Conwell-Egan.
It was a hard-fought battle between evenly matched teams. Conwell-Egan got on the board first, as the Eagles put one in five minutes into play.
That lead held up for nearly the entire game. With 6:45 remaining in the fourth quarter, Courtney Halbridge found the back of the net for the Panthers.
“This was pretty much the biggest goal I ever scored,” said Halbridge, a freshman. “It was so awesome to see the ball go in the cage. It was such a relief, and it was so cool. When they scored first that kind of set us back but then we all grouped together. We really wanted to score and get back in the game.
“I feel like our team proved a lot with this game. We showed that we can do it. We showed other teams and we showed ourselves.”
Halbridge, typically the right midfielder, played sweeper due to a number of injuries to other players.
“We have a lot of people out so we had to make some changes,” she said. “There was some pressure but I knew my team was behind me and it was awesome to have that support.”
Halbridge is the freshman class vice president and serves on the student council.
Junior captain Jessa Read was thrilled to see the ball go in the cage.
“It was really exciting to get that goal,” Read said. “They’re a good team and they made us work really hard for that, so it was really great to finally score.
“They scored pretty early and that definitely got us down a little bit, and I think that happens to everyone when they get scored on first. But it was a good fight, especially since we’re missing some key players so girls are playing all over the place. The freshmen and sophomores completely rose to the occasion and played hard. It’s amazing to see them.
“This game really could have gone either way, and it’s a big jolt of confidence for us. It shows us that we really can do anything if we work together as a team. Even though it was a tie, I still count it as a huge victory for us. This is a turning point for our season. This is my favorite season I’ve ever played in. I love this team and I love these girls, and I think we can still accomplish a lot.”
Read also plays softball for the Panthers and is involved in a middle school girls Bible study program. She would like to attend Liberty University, and hopes to become a teacher.
Plumstead Christian had been knocking on the door for most of the game. After a slow first quarter, where the Eagles capitalized, the Panthers found themselves. They drew three of their four corners in the second half.
“I’m so proud of our team,” coach Tiehl McRoberts said. “We’re down four starters. We had a lot of younger players in our overtime. We had four freshmen in there. I’m so proud of how strong they played. A lot of them were playing different positions than what they usually do. They were able to support each other and adapt and bring the energy.
“This is definitely a confidence boost for our team. We just played three games in a row and since we’re down so many players the girls were exhausted, so this was big for us.”
Plumstead Christian has no seniors on the team.
“It’s definitely exciting that we have this momentum and we’re not losing anyone,” McRoberts said. “They’ll have so much more experience next year, but this year we are playing teams that have a lot of seniors. Conwell-Egan only had two seniors so they were more like us.
“We’re so excited for the rest of the season. We’ve got three weeks left and some good games coming up, so we want to see what we can do.”