Conway, Ark. – The Transylvania field hockey team delivered its most dramatic moment of the 2018 season in Friday afternoon's tournament-opening Southern Athletic Association semifinals as the Pioneers defeated the Sewanee Tigers with no time left, 2-1 at Hendrix College's Warrior Field.
Junior Tori Coleman scored on a second-chance shot with no time remaining on the clock via a penalty corner to lift the Pioneers to the 2-1 victory and into the semifinal round of the SAA Tournament to face the No. 2 seed Rhodes College Lynx on Saturday afternoon.
Coleman's miraculous follow capped off a two-goal comeback in the second half for the Pioneers, who met up with the Tigers for the third time in the 2018 season. In both of the prior meetings, it was Sewanee who came away with identical 1-0 victories against a Transylvania team which displayed its capabilities to battle closely with the Tigers, but came up empty offensively.
In Friday's game with the highest stakes of the three, the Tigers and Pioneers appeared to be potentially headed for a similar result once again as the Tigers found the lone goal of the first half against Transylvania senior goalie Allyson Benz midway through the period on a 2-on-1 fast break. Benz was able to contest the shot but the Tigers pounced upon the loose ball and finished off the play to surge ahead, 1-0.
But the first-half score would be the only goal Benz would allow on the afternoon as the senior produced another quintessential performance as she came up with nine saves, including a series of clutch stops down the stretch to keep alive Transylvania's hopes for a tournament win.
Still trailing 1-0 to open up the second half, sophomore forward Lilly Kramer delivered the equalizing goal for the Pioneers 15 minutes into the period as the Pioneers notched their first goal of the season series against Sewanee.
The Tigers began to regroup and went back to controlling possession against Transylvania, but could not deliver on its numerous penalty corner opportunities.
The match remained tied late into its final stages and appeared to be headed for overtime.
But with one minute left, the Tigers gained one last penalty corner. Sewanee nearly found its breakthrough looking for the go-ahead goal, but Benz and a strong backline stood steadfast for Transylvania, denying the score.
Following the stop, the Pioneers sprinted upfield with the ball, trying to find one last scoring opportunity. With just seconds remaining in regulation, the Pioneers earned a penalty corner and set up from the left side of the shooting circle with no time left. Kramer set up a goal-scoring opportunity as the Pioneers converged on Sewanee's goal. As traffic quickly expanded around the net, Kramer slipped the ball to Coleman, who was able to knock in the loose ball from the right edge, handing the Pioneers an astounding victory at the end of regulation.
With Friday's win, the Pioneers advanced into the SAA semifinals for the first time in two seasons and the third time in the last four seasons.
Transylvania will now take on Rhodes, which received a first-round bye into the semifinals. The SAA tournament semifinal is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. eastern, 2:00 p.m. central time from Conway, Arkansas. The winner of that match will advance into Sunday's 1:00 p.m. eastern time championship match.
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