ERMA – Jenna Herlihy, who graduated from Middle Township High School in June, scored a lot of big goals for the school’s field hockey team during her career.
Now, it’s her younger sister’s turn.
Katie Herlihy, a freshman forward, blasted a shot inside the left post from just inside the scoring circle 2 minutes, 47 seconds into overtime as the Lady Panthers slipped past rival Lower Cape May, 1-0, Friday afternoon.
Caroline Gallagher began the play with a corner insert, which made its way to Herlihy stationed just outside the top of the circle. Herlihy pushed the ball inside the circle before delivering a wicked strike that eluded all Lower Cape May defenders before crashing into goal.
Herlihy’s goal came on Middle’s first deep penetration in the seven-v-seven overtime period.
“Going into the overtime I felt pretty confident because we have a lot of speed on our team, even in our backfield,” Middle coach Janina Perna said. “It helps give more space, which is almost better for us because we can spread out the field and play more athletically.”
With the win, Middle (6-7) avenged a 3-1 loss to Lower (8-3-1) from earlier this season.
While play went back and forth for a good portion of the contest, Middle did manage more scoring chances. But Lower’s defense and goalie Makayla Heuber were up to the challenge for all 60 minutes of regulation.
“Scoring’s been our problem all year long,” Perna said. “We’ve been able to get chances. But we just can’t put it in the net. Maybe it’s because we’re so young. All of our forwards are freshmen and sophomores and they just don’t have the experience yet.
“We needed this win. We’ve lost so many close games.”
— Brian Cunniff