Bayley’s OT goal lifts Panthers by Sussex Tech 2-1 in D-I hockey tourney opener

Lynn Richardson

WOODSIDE — Lacy Bayley saw the ball break free and pounced.

The Polytech High senior managed to tip it before it even hit the ground.

Bayley’s overtime goal gave the fourth-seeded Polytech field hockey team a 2-1 victory over fifth seed Sussex Tech on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Division I DIAA state tournament.

The Panthers (13-3) advanced to play top seed Cape Henlopen (15-1) in the semifinals on Tuesday. The site and start time have yet to be determined.

Bayley scored both goals for Polytech, including an equalizer with 24 minutes left in the second half.

“We didn’t want our season to end today,” she said. “Everyone went out and played their hardest.”

The two teams both had multiple chances to score in overtime but goalies Holly Rembold of Polytech and Kayla Brady of Sussex Tech each game up with big saves to keep the game tied.

Polytech forced a penalty corner with 2:15 left in the overtime period which led to a timeout by coach Lynn Richardson. The Panthers ended up scoring after the timeout.

Mackenzie Estrada sent the ball in front where it was tipped by Nadja Weaver-Postell. It deflected into the air where Bayley directed it into the back of the cage,

Bayley’s other goal was off a penalty stroke where she lifted her effort into the roof of the goal.

“Lacy is kind of the brains of the organization,” Richardson said. “She lives and dies field hockey. She plays year-round. She’s a really heady player and is always in the right place at the right time.”

Rembold made six saves on the afternoon.

Her biggest came with about five minutes to go in overtime.

Sussex Tech managed to sneak in behind the last defender for a one-on-one opportunity. Rembold timed her run out perfectly and managed to deflect the ball away to stop the breakaway.

“I had to make the decision to go out or stay back,” Rembold said. “I knew I had to go out or else she would score.”

“You have to take the stress and use it, that’s when you can flourish,” she added. “Once that ball is behind you, there’s no chance of you stopping it. You’re the last line of defense so you always have to be on your toes.”

Sussex Tech looked to have won the game off a penalty corner in overtime. But the shot was judged to be too high and illegal.

“That was the biggest relief of the game,” Rembold said. “I was listening to hear if it hit the board but didn’t hear it, so I knew it hit the net and was too high.”

Rembold also made a kick save late in regulation to ensure the game would go to overtime.

“Holly has had an awesome season,” Richardson said. “She always rises to the other team’s ability. She had a great game against Cape and Delmar. We knew Sussex Tech was going to be awesome. They’re a great team and Holly came out and put the team on her back.”

Aynasti Bowden provided the lone goal for Sussex Tech in the second half. The Panthers ended up tying the contest just 1:06 later on Bayley’s first goal.

Polytech held a 12-7 edge in shots and a 17-8 margin in penalty corners. Brady finished with 11 saves in goal for the Ravens.

Sussex Tech wrapped up the season at 11-4-1.

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