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She wanted to play. Not as much for her own competitive spirit as for the love of her teammates.

So, she went to her coach and pleaded her case. Following some deliberation and soul searching, he put her into the starting lineup, and the way it turned out, everyone was sure glad he did.

On Saturday at Whitehall High School, a less-than-100-percent Anna Miller tallied the winning goal in overtime to propel the Palmyra field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Archbishop Carroll and the Cougars’ third state championship. Miller, who had sat out the Cougars’ previous match – a 3-0 PIAA semifinal triumph over Selinsgrove on Tuesday – used that same persisent character to net the game-winner.

Off a corner play that she inserted just over a minute into the initial extra session, the junior forward took advantage of an opportunity with the ball at her feet and the Bishop Carroll goalie sprawled out in front of her. Miller’s first attempt was low and bounced back to her.

But she stayed with the play, pulled the ball back with her stick and then lifted it into the cage. Mayhem ensued.

All season long, Miller had been a key offensive component during Palmyra’s run to the state championship game. But she had sustained an injury to her foot earlier in the playoffs.

  • Jeff Falk

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