By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
BERWICK -- There were Greenwood tears long before Crestwood's Chandler Ackers ended the Wildcats' season with her overtime goal Tuesday night.
They flowed hard from Hattie Kuhns and Brittany Fleisher, each of whom believed they would certainly be responsible for a Greenwood loss in the state semifinals when they drew their respective yellow cards.
The fact is, they were both wrong. The Wildcats were a player down for the last several minutes of regulation and then again early in the first overtime. In both instances, they held off the District 2 champion Comets until they could return to even strength and continue the epic battle.
It wasn't until the second extra period that Ackers -- with ailing Greenwood keeper Katie Osborne out of the cage to challenge a corner and Taylor Tompkins having already saved a shot at the line -- controlled a carom near the left post and punched in the 3-2 game-winner at Berwick's storied Crispin Field.
"Not much I can say other than we played a great game and just didn't get the win," said Wildcats coach Kent Houser. "To play seven-short and them not score … It was a great field hockey game -- it's what it's supposed to be for a state semifinal game.
"We just came out on the wrong end of the stick."
Crestwood (22-2), eliminated by Greenwood in last year's state tournament, will play the state runner-up from a year ago, District 1 champion Villa Maria, for the Class AA championship noon Saturday at the Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. The four-time state champion Comets haven't appeared in a final since 2004.
"Tremendous effort by everyone who stepped on that field," said Comets coach Elvetta Gemski, who has 617 career wins in nearly 40 years. "There wasn't a moment where we didn't have pressure from Greenwood. Every second was a threat."