Senior forward Allison Beardsley waited patiently at midline, alone.
In the field hockey game against SUNY Brockport on Saturday, Oct. 29, few opposing defenders paid her any attention. They were too intent on where the action was — in a corner of UR’s side of the field, where the Golden Eagles’ star forward Kelly-Ann Henry had just substituted to take a penalty corner pass — to care what the seemingly idle and harmless Beardsley might do next. It was, after all, 30 minutes into double overtime in what had been a long 3-3 stalemate. One final push, the Golden Eagles hoped, and they could go home happy.
They would come to regret discounting Beardsley, who has emerged as a potent offensive threat for the ’Jackets this season. Henry’s pass was deflected away and landed in a UR defender’s possession who, eyeing her available teammate, wound up and fired a pass 20 yards toward the Brockport goal and a now charging Beardsley.
The Brockport defenders were bewildered at this seemingly instantaneous turn-around. They helplessly scrambled after Beardsley, knowing full well that she would reach the goalie box before they could even come close to her.
The Golden Eagles’ only hope was goalie Kasey Schreiner, who had racked up 11 saves on the day. Schreiner rushed out to meet Beardsley — pushing her to the right side of the goal — and attempted to jump on the ball before the wing could manage a shot.
Beardsley made a quick move to evade Schreiner, however, and blasted the ball behind Schreiner into the far lower left-hand corner of the net. With the goal, Beardsley not only claimed a victory in the season finale, 4-3, for the yellow and blue, but did so in style — just moments before the second overtime period would have expired, signaling a sudden-death shootout.
Despite finishing on top, the Yellowjackets had to play catch-up rather early on. The Eagles’ Henry and Abby Eschen each chalked up a point midway through the first period to give the visiting team a comfortable 2-0 lead. UR responded later in the half with a remarkable three goals in four minutes of play, as senior defender Alexis Vangellow, sophomore midfielder Katie Flaschner and freshman midfielder Megan Keil all found their way around Schreiner to give the ‘Jackets a 3-2 lead entering halftime.
UR shut down the Golden Eagles for most of the second half, but at 51:43 Henry and Eschen returned to do more damage and even the score. Henry ran through a circle of UR defenders, rushed to the left post (forcing Yellowjackets sophomore goalie Madison Wagner to the post) and centered the ball to Eschen, who touched it in to force overtime.
Wagner finished the game with five saves. Schreiner was much more busy in the Golden Eagles’ net, having to deflect eleven shots.
With the win, the Yellowjackets push their season mark to 13-6, while the Golden Eagles fall to 9-8.
Bernstein is a member of the class of 2014.