BY JEFF FALK
It beats the heck out of penetration time or penalty strokes. And it’s got a leg up on 11-on-11 overtime.
But while it certainly isn’t perfect, the seven-on-seven, ‘golden-goal’ rule is the best method that the PIAA has ever come up with to snap dead-locked scholastic field hockey games. The system places more emphais on heart, team work and conditioning than it does on individual hand-eye skills.
When field hockey games are tied at the end of regulation play, both teams are forced to take four players off the field and a 15-minute, sudden-death overtime to decide a winner ensues.
In a recent District Three Class AA semifinal between Palmyra and Donegal, the session was necessitated by a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation. In the midst of the extra session, Cougar forward Anna Scipioni walked by the Palmyra bench and asked her coaches if timeouts were allowed in overtime.
A visibly winded Scipioni was met with a firm ‘No’. It was fitting that a few minutes later it was Scipioni who netted the game-winning goal, putting an end to the grueling test of wills.
“It’s awesome. It’s exciting,” said Palmyra head coach Kristi Harshman, herself a one-time Cougar player. “There’s a lot of space. And passing the ball up and down the field is huge. We have a pretty good seven-on-seven team.”