In a moment of pure exhilaration, teammates rushed Sarah McGowan and mobbed her near midfield. Even with the weight of those pads, they hoisted the goalie onto their shoulders in celebration.
The Arlington field hockey team was returning the favor since it was McGowan who first lifted them on Monday.
Audrey Treanor and Erin Robin scored in a shootout and McGowan made four of her 10 saves in the extra period as ninth-seeded Arlington edged No. 9 John Jay High School, 2-1, in the first round of the Section 1 Class A playoffs.
“I’ve never felt this happy in my life,” said McGowan, whose team had lost to the Patriots twice in the regular season. Arlington visits Mamaroneck on Wednesday.
Robins scored off a pass from Kaitlyn Toombs to put Arlington on the board midway through the first half. Jenna Fusco, on a put-back, tied it for the Patriots (10-6-1) with 20:19 remaining. The teams played two scoreless overtimes before going to a shootout.
The shootout is a best-of-5 round that pits an offensive player against the goalie with 10 seconds to score, starting from the 20. It was implemented in 2013 and neither team had participated in one before.
No matter. McGowan stifled the Patriots’ first four shooters and Treanor deftly maneuvered in the circle and scored. Robin added another to seal it.
“Going into the shootout, I told them to relax,” Admirals coach Stephanie Tito said. “Both teams had played their hearts out so, either way, there’d be no reason to hang their heads.”
Instead, there was reason to lift their goalie.
Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4