The Sussex Academy field hockey team advanced to the DIAA Division II semifinals with a 3-2 victory over Tatnall Nov. 13 in Georgetown.
The Seahawks were paced by two goals from senior Emma Westbrook. The first goal came in the first quarter at the 9:54 mark unassisted on a shot out of a crowd in front of the Hornets goal. Teammate Callie Short tallied the second goal unassisted at 5:33.
Rachael Whitehead pulled the Hornets within one as she slammed a shot over Seahawks keeper Lilly McAroy at 9:10, and just 45 seconds later, Whitehead assisted Carolyn Walker to tie the game up at 2-2.
Westbrook tallied the game-winning goal at 6:38 on a blast past Tatnall keeper Grace Hill to seal the victory and punch the Seahawks’ tickets to the semis.
Sussex Academy held an 8-6 shot advantage in the contest and took an 8-3 edge in penalty corners. McAroy made four saves, while Tatnall goalie Grace Hill made five stops.
“The energy was there,” Short said. “We were playing as a team. Our passes were on.”
“Coach told us at halftime to just step back and take a deep breath,” Westbrook said. “Play like it’s 0-0.”
“Our team is super close,” said Madison Leeper. “We’re really excited to move on.”
“Sixty minutes of hockey is what it takes,” said Seahawks head coach Maxine Fluharty. “Winning the moment. In the state tournament, you don’t expect any game to be easy. They had their first taste of the state tournament last year, and that didn’t end the way they wanted it to end. Having that experience as a team is really important. It’s a different season and a different chapter. We are playing one game at a time.”
The Seahawks play Delmar in the semifinals Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the DE Turf complex in Frederica. Game time is 5 p.m.