Rams top Pack in OT
The Pam Pack’s playoff hopes suffered a setback on Thursday as Washington fell 2-1 in overtime to Coastal Conference rival Havelock.
Heading into the game Washington (8-6, 4-6) was locked in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference with Havelock and D.H. Conley. The top five teams in the conference advance to the postseason.
Having already lost to Havelock once this season, a win over the Rams on Thursday would have greatly improved the Pack’s playoff chances as it heads down the home stretch of the regular season.
Washington coach Ed Rodriguez said that while his team may be down, it’s not out.
“This was a game we needed but it doesn’t throw us out of the playoff hunt, it just makes things a little tougher,” Rodriguez said.
Also making things a bit more challenging for Washington was the fact that it had to play without starting goalie Emily Alligood, who sustained a concussion during the team’s loss to Jacksonville on Tuesday.
With Alligood out, Rodriguez was forced to start scoring threat Alana Jefferson at keeper, a move that hamstrung the Pack attack.
“She’s quick, which helps us (defensively), but I would much rather have her on the field the entire game because she has great endurance and speed,” Rodriguez said.
Havelock struck early as they were able to capitalize on what Rodriguez said was a missed assignment on defense to take a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
In the second half Washington got more aggressive on offense and was able to tie the game at one apiece when sophomore Christian Heggie slipped one past the Rams’ keeper from close range.
“One of our defenders sent a long ball that went over their center defender and Christian was able to beat her to the ball and put it in the bottom left part of the goal,” Rodriguez said.
The two teams battle to a standstill an ended regulation locked in a 1-1 tie until Havelock was able get the ball past Jefferson with 4:30 remaining in the first overtime period.
“It was a throw-in play and we broke one of the rules — you never let the ball bounce on the defensive end — and the ball bounced and the best we could do was clear it out. We gave up the corner and they scored from that corner,” Rodriguez said.
After the goal, Rodriguez took Jefferson out of the keeper spot and put in Noelle Gargaro in an effort to create more offense.
The moved worked, as the Pack was able to generate more shots on goal but could not get one to hit the back of the net.
Washington will be back in action on Tuesday when it plays Coastal Conference leaders White Oak.