Leesburg, Va. — In a 0-0 tie, facing a perennial Class 5 state power, the Independence High School field hockey team turned to a freshman to get the job done. And Sammie Goin answered the call.
With less than 5 minutes to play in the second quarter of a scoreless Potomac District matchup, the Tigers earned their second penalty stroke of the night, and Goin lined up to try her hand at breaking the 0-0 tie.
“You have to go into it thinking you can do it for your team then just go and get it done,” Goin said. “You can’t be thinking about the pressure.”
After Independence had extended its lead to 2-0, the Tigers were awarded another penalty stroke in the fourth quarter, and Goin once again connected.
“It can be a very stressful situation. The stands are quiet, the field’s quiet, it’s one-on-one,” Independence head coach Jennifer Darrow said. “Even though Sammie is a freshman, she’s a very experienced freshman with Junior Olympics and a lot of travel and club games under her belt, so we knew she could handle it.”
When all was said and done, Goin had notched the two penalty stroke goals to lead the Tigers past Riverside, 4-0, in a clash of LoCo titans on September 13 in Leesburg.
“We’re always looking for the best competition, and Riverside is that,” Darrow said. “They have some phenomenal players on their roster, and that’s what we want to see; we’re only going to get better if we play better. Riverside was great competition, and it was really fun to win.”
The game started with the Tigers and Rams exchanging attacks, until, with the clock at 0:00 in the first quarter, Independence successfully defended two corners to hold Riverside scoreless through the first 15 minutes.
Early in the second quarter, Independence got its first real chance when senior forward Olivia Danley lined up for a penalty stroke. However, the senior missed wide left.
About six minutes later, Riverside made an illegal slide in the shooting circle, setting up the first of Goin’s two penalty strokes and the second for the Tigers.
Independence was tested defensively late in the third quarter when two false starts on a penalty corner left the Tigers with just two defenders and their keeper between their lead and the ferocious Riverside offense. But as they had done throughout the night, Independence successfully defended the corner and kept their clean sheet intact.
The Tigers didn’t add to their lead until early in the fourth quarter when senior forward Melaina Carl found the back of the net to put Independence up 2-0.
“After we scored that first goal, we knew we had to score again,” Goin said. “Riverside is really good, so we knew we had to keep scoring as many goals as we could.”
Then midway through the fourth, Goin lined up for her second successful penalty stroke of the night.
As the Tigers defense continued to prove stalwart, they found the back of the goal one more time as Danley scored as the final clock struck zero.
“We came into the game hoping that we could win,” Goin said. “When we scored in the last few seconds, it made us realize how good we actually could be.”
The shutout win lifts Independence to the top spot in the Potomac District, however, the Tigers won’t get complacent as they turn around in just 10 days for a rematch with the Rams.
“It’s going to be a tough battle. It’s hard to beat somebody twice,” Darrow said. “Tonight wasn’t an easy win by any means. They were tough, they took some good shots, they were physical in a great way, so we’re excited to play them again.”
|2Q||4:51||Independence||Sammie Goin (stroke)||1-0|
|4Q||8:42||Independence||Sammie Goin (stroke)||3-0|