Senior goalkeeper Abigail Campbell came up with four saves as the second-seeded King Philip field hockey team staved off a relentless Duxbury attack for a 2-1 victory and a berth in the Division 1 South sectional final opposite top-seeded Somerset Berkley.
“I’m so happy for these kids,” said King Philip coach Liz Hathaway. “They pulled it out. My goalkeeper, Abby Campbell, played phenomenal, had another strong game. She’s the leader of our defense.”
Despite Duxbury’s dominance in attack, King Philip (18-2-1) successfully defended each of the Dragons nine penalty corners, conceding one off a Keely Smith penalty stroke seconds before halftime.
Hathaway fired up the Warriors during the brief intermission, and it showed early on as KP came out of the break and controlled the play.
“I told them at halftime, ‘We’ve got to draw a corner,’ and they did,” Hathaway said.
King Philip’s only penalty corner of the night resulted in the game-winning goal.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Warriors played in the corner, passing the ball around before junior Claire Lawler nudged a loose ball into the net.
The Warriors took their first lead a little more than 13 minutes into the contest. Junior Allison Meehan collected a pass and darted 25 yards untouched before sliding a shot into the cage.
The remainder of the opening period saw Duxbury mount a rampant attack, yet the Dragons failed to register a shot on goal until the final 30 seconds of the half.
With Campbell out of position, a lifted shot by Lilly Krahmer forced an incredible defensive save from KP’s Emma Izydorczak. Campbell sprawled back to cover the ball, drawing a penalty stroke which resulted in Duxbury’s only goal.
“Coach was pretty angry about letting up,” Campbell said. “It was just a breakdown of the defense and that’s what we really needed to work on in the second half.”
Campbell provided heroics late, stopping Smith on a wide open shot from the left side off a penalty corner with 12:30 left in the game. Campbell’s alertness paid off again moments later as the senior rushed out of her cage to kick a loose ball out of the circle preventing a scoring chance for sixth-seeded Duxbury (15-4-2).
“Coach has always trained all of us that we have to stay smart and composed,” Campbell said. “Just think about doing it for the team. We didn’t make it this far last year and I really want to make a good run for the girls.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at email@example.com.