MILTON – Catie Gomm did it again!
Pine Plains did it again!
Gomm, for the second straight season, scored the winner late, and in dramatic fashion, to lift the Pine Plains field hockey team over Webutuck High School, 1-0, in the Section 9 Class C final.
This time the goal came in double overtime, as Pine Plains captured its fourth straight section title.
“It was a Hail Mary shot,” Gomm said, grinning. “Just swing and hope for the best.”
Just last year, it was midfielder Rachel Beam who fed Gomm for the goal.
The Bombers (9-7-1) face the Section 4 champion in a sub-regional at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Sidney High School.
With the teams locked in a stalemate, Gomm positioned herself on the right wing and collected a push pass from the left. The forward blasted a liner into the far corner with 4:53 left, sending the Bombers to victory and its fans screaming, creating echos in the Hudson Valley Sportsdome.
It wasn’t a designed play, but the two seniors have been teammates for so long, their on-field chemistry is more like telepathy. The two connected last season with 1:30 left in the final, giving the Bombers a 1-0 victory over Webutuck
“You could call it a Hail Mary,” Beam said, “but I knew she’d get it in.”
There wasn’t much certainty for the Bombers before that, though.
Top-seeded Webutuck controlled possession and applied pressure throughout the second half and into overtime, but the second-seeded Bombers made that moot. Amanda Simmons, despite feeling ill, made 14 saves for Pine Plains. No, she literally saved the Bombers’ season — on several occasions.
“Amanda always steps up to the plate,” senior Tiffany McMahon said. “She hasn’t been feeling well, but she came in and said, ‘I’m gonna do this’ and did.”
For the Warriors (10-4), it was a series of near misses and close calls. They made several runs into the circle but were denied each time. A cross attempt from the right wing went just wide and rolled out of bounds with 8:43 remaining. They mounted another drive and got within feet of the cage, but Simmons made two quick kick saves, and a put-back attempt from the right post missed with two minutes left in regulation.
“She can really kick that ball,” teammate Nicole Reilly joked.
Webutuck had several attempts in overtime, including a flurry of shots on one possession. The result: one miss and two saves in succession by Simmons, including a diving stop to the keeper’s left.
“I was nervous and my stomach hurt,” Simmons admitted. “A couple of those (shots), I didn’t think I would get to.”
And Rachel Beam admitted that coming into this season, she was a bit “skeptical” about her team’s chances, given the relative inexperience of this group.
Never mind on both.
But the Warriors showed their growth this season, beating the Bombers, 3-0, in September and, for the first time, earned the top seed entering the playoffs.
“Webutuck was amazing,” Gomm said. “They’re really fast and they didn’t seem to get tired.”
In their heart of hearts, the Bombers know they were outplayed – beaten every which way… but on the scoreboard.
“I’ve dreamed about getting this as a senior,” Beam said, beaming as she lifted the championship plaque. “I always envisioned it.”
But who could’ve imagined this deja vu finish?
Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4