Parkside goes to shootout for first field hockey title

STEVE GREEN -- Free Press Sports Reporter

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

It's something they'd rather not have to do, but the Parkside Stampeders are getting pretty good at field hockey shootouts.

The Stampeders won their first Thames Valley Region Athletic Association title yesterday at TD Waterhouse Stadium by beating the Ingersoll Blue Bombers 3-2 on strokes after the teams tied 1-1 through regulation and overtime. Both teams advance to the WOSSAA tournament tomorrow and Thursday in Goderich along with the Medway Cowboys, who beat Strathroy 4-3 on strokes for third place.

In the final, Parkside opened the scoring through Anna Head in the 16th minute after a scramble off a short corner. Abbey Burton equalized for the Blue Bombers, also off a short-corner scramble, in the dying seconds of the 30-minute half. The second half and a 10-minute full overtime solved nothing.

The teams tied 2-2 through the regulation five shooters, forcing sudden death. On the second sudden-death round, Parkside goalie Kylie Garrison, who'd made some fine saves in the second half, stuck out her stick to make the title-winning save.

Parkside beat defending champion Medway on strokes in their semifinal last Thursday and Stampeders coach Darlene Denniss was a little concerned about a letdown.

"At the start, I was a little worried. That (beating Medway) was such a big target, I wasn't sure the girls would be ready for the bigger prize.

"This game was a game of momentum shifts, but we kept our composure. We have a young team with a lot of character and we have a lot of confidence in Kylie."

The teams split their regular season meetings by 1-0 scores, so yesterday's finish wasn't much of a surprise.

"That couldn't have been any closer," said Ingersoll coach Marg Veres. "I'm really proud of my girls for battling back like they did."

In the third-place game, Grade 9 goalie Ali Sinclair made the decisive save after the teams had gone scoreless through 70 minutes.

"They usually have a down point at some time in the season, we just don't like it to be in the playoffs," Medway co-coach Sherry Titus said.


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