WINTHROP — When Winthrop sophomore Corinna Coulton stopped a penalty stroke in the second overtime, she screamed, jumped up and down, and joyously banged her goalie stick off the goal post. When the game ended, the Winthrop players streamed onto the field in celebration.

The final score on Friday afternoon was a 0-0 tie, but it sure didn’t feel that way to the Ramblers, or to their undefeated opponents from Oak Hill.

“It feels like a win,” Winthrop field hockey coach Jess Merrill said. “It really does. To hold them scoreless, with all the goals that they’ve been scoring this year … we’re definitely moving in the right direction as to where we want to be.”

“We started out slow,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “We started out flat. They weren’t playing like they were in the last couple of games. It’s OK. We’re still proud of them. They worked very hard.”

The Ramblers (5-3-3) were already without starting midfielder Dani Kotow to an injury, then lost another starting midfielder when Julie McConnell stepped on a ball in warmups and rolled her ankle. Midway through the first half, a third starting mid, Kat Hadjuk, limped off the field on one foot, but returned to play in the second half.

Winthrop hung in mainly because of Coulton, who made 19 saves, including 10 in the two overtime periods. Oak Hill outshot the Ramblers 28-2 and had a 13-2 edge in penalty corners.


“Corinna’s definitely stepped up in the second half of the season, and she’s getting more and more confidence every game,” Merrill said. “She’s definitely coming into her own, as one of the best goalies in the league, I think.”

Although Oak Hill (11-0-1) wasn’t completely in top form, the Raiders still have several offensive threats and a solid passing game. Less than nine minutes into the game, Hayley Marshall’s dazzling stick skills set up a deflection chance for Kylee Veilleux on the left post, but Veilleux’s shot was deflected off the crossbar.

The Raiders had nine penalty corners in the second half and got open shots on nearly every one. But Coulton and her defense cut off the best angles, and Oak Hill had a number of shots roll just wide of the cage.

“We were knocking right there all day long,” Gilbert said. “My hat’s off to their goalie. She’s a tremendous player. She really, really fought hard in there.”

Despite 13 shots in the second half and forcing Winthrop to use both of its timeouts, Oak Hill went to overtime for the first time this season.

“We knew that they hadn’t been in any overtime situations,” Merrill said. “We knew that they hadn’t been held scoreless at halftime. So we knew things were hopefully going in our favor, because we’ve been in 500 overtimes, it seems like.”


The best defensive play of the game might have been by Meagan Chamberlain with about three and a half minutes left in the first overtime. When the ball bounced over the stick of the last Winthrop defender, Veilleux had a breakaway. Coulton came out, but Veilleux still got the ball past her. With the ball inches from going in, Chamberlain reached the ball first and whacked it back toward the center of the field while on the move.

“Corinna came out on her,” Chamberlain said, “which was the best decision she made, because that kind of stalled it, and even though she missed it, I was there to swipe it out. If Corinna would not have come out, I wouldn’t have been able to have time to do that.”

With 1:50 to go in the first overtime, Marshall faked twice, but Coulton still stopped her shot on the left post. Less than two minutes into the second overtime, Marshall and teammate Sadie Goulet were hacking at the ball right at Coulton’s feet, but couldn’t get it through. Then, with 2:06 to go in the second overtime, Marshall was tripped in the circle, and Coulton knocked away Kayla Veilleux’s stroke.

So given all that, maybe it’s understandable that it felt like a win for the Ramblers, and closer to a loss for Oak Hill.

“I am totally confident that we’re going to be able to come back from that,” Gilbert said. “This was a great lesson for our girls. There was a lot of emotion when they came off the field today — and that’s great. That’s what I’m looking for — that drive and that desire, that passion from within.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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