Panthers stun host Caravel in hockey quarterfinals 2-1 in OT

BEAR — They’re not done yet.

Sophomore Lacy Bayley scored her second straight postseason winning goal, this one in overtime, as Polytech High eliminated No. 2 seed host Caravel Academy 2-1 Saturday afternoon in the state field hockey tournament quarterfinals.

The No. 10 Panthers (12-4) move forward to a semifinal match with No. 3 Delmar (14-1) on Tuesday at the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium. Delmar won the regular season contest 2-1.

Saturday’s winner came in Polytech’s first sustained push in the extra session, with sophomore Mackenzie Estrada sending a perfect crossing pass to a waiting Bailey just 93 seconds into overtime. Estrada first guided the ball downfield several yards before seeing the defense open up just enough to hammer it toward Bayly.

Standing in front of the goal, Bayly tapped the ball in at point-blank range to set off a joyous celebration on one side, and sullen season-ending walk off the field for the other. Bayly’s teammates swarmed her in a classic sudden victory style celebration as a couple Caravel fans loudly heckled the officiating crew on the way out of Bob Peoples Stadium.

Polytech junior Tara Bond chases Caravel’s Sydney Keld in Saturday’s DIAA field hockey state tournament quarterfinal. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Polytech junior Tara Bond chases Caravel’s Sydney Keld in Saturday’s DIAA field hockey state tournament quarterfinal. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

The goal was far more dramatic than Bayly’s first-half goal in the opening round that gave Polytech a 1-0 win over No. 7 Archmere, also on the road in New Castle County.

Either way the result was the same – taking Polytech deeper into the state tournament once again.

“It’s such a relief to know we’re going forward,” Bayly said. “We knew coming up here would be tough but we kept fighting for it and never gave up hope.”

After a scoreless first half, Caravel (15-2) scored almost immediately after the intermission and held the lead for roughly nine minutes.

The Panthers kept grinding away with more and more possession time before junior Shannon Stephan drilled in a ball that the goalkeeper knocked out. Estrada first sent the ball toward the goal to set up the opportunity with 19:29 left in regulation.

“I knew all of us hustle and have the biggest hearts out there,” Estrada said. “We all knew in the end we could pull through.”

After a first half that seemed to favor Caravel in ball control time, Panthers coach Lynn Richardson implored her team to trust its skills and play more aggressively in the second.
With Tara Bond, Madilyn McKay, Bailey, Devon Ott, Stephan pushing the action, among others, the Panthers appeared to gain confidence with every possession down the stretch.

Sophomore goalkeeper Holly Rembold snuffed out any further offensive threats after Caravel scored just over a minute into the second half, while senior co-captains Grace Stang and Camryn Dennis shined as well.

Both teams ended up taking seven penalty corners, indicative of a quite competitive match.

“They’re a scrappy bunch of kids who are happy to be here and certainly glad to move on,” Richardson said.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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