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Johnstown tops Camden in overtime, 2-1

Johnstown's Abbey Hollister, left, and Camden's Kassidy Gloude look to control a loose ball during Wednesday's Class C state regional semifinal game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

GLOVERSVILLE — In its first regional game since 2011, the Johnstown field hockey team worked overtime to advance.

The Lady Bills edged Section III champion Camden, 2-1, in overtime in a state Class C regional semifinal contest at Gloversville High School. It was the first overtime game of the season for Johnstown.

“We hadn’t been in an overtime game this year,” Johnstown coach Christine Krempa said. “I was confident in our overtime game though because we practice it every day. I wasn’t hoping to find out how we did in an overtime game today, though, but we pulled it out.”

Junior Taryn Ringer scored both goals for the Lady Bills, netting the game-winning goal with 5:10 left in the first 10-minute overtime session. Kalena Eaton assisted on the game-winning goal for Johnstown.

“I was hoping to put it in,” Ringer said. “We hadn’t played an overtime game yet this year, but we have a very good overtime game.”

Johnstown's Emily Pertell (3) controls the ball as Camden's Ashley Hilts (15) defends during Wednesday's Class C state regional semifinal game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

Chloe Hite scored the lone goal for Camden.

Hite’s goal was just the eighth of the season allowed by Johnstown, which has outscored its opposition 85-8 this season.

Both teams had their chances in the first half as the Lady Bills finished with a 5-2 advantage in shots and a 7-5 edge in penalty corners.

Ringer had a pair of shots turned aside by Camden goalie Kendra Igoe.

Johnstown finally broke through for the game’s first goal when Ringer scored on an assist from Eaton with 18:04 left in the first half on a penalty corner.

Johnstown's Kalena Eaton carries the ball past Camden's Greta Kwiatkowski (3) during Wednesday's Class C state regional semifinal game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

The Lady Bills nearly had a second goal with 5:10 to play in the first half, but Igoe made back-to-back saves on shots by Johnstown’s Molly Memrick and Kanako Sasaki to keep the score 1-0 at the half.

“Their goalie did a great job,” Krempa said. “We couldn’t get it past her most of the night.”

After the break, Johnstown piled up nine shots and 12 corners, but the Lady Bills weren’t able to add to their advantage.

“Statistically, we dominated the game, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the cage,” Krempa said.

Camden took advantage, scoring the game-tying goal with 3:37 to play when Hite scored after a scramble in front of the Johnstown goal.

“We can’t allow that to happen,” Krempa said of the Blue Devils’ late goal. “We let them hang around and they tied it up.”

The late goal sent the game to overtime, marking the first time this season that the Lady Bills were forced to play beyond regulation.

As it did in regulation, Johnstown controlled the action in OT, registering six shots and generating five penalty corners.

Igoe made five saves before Eaton found Ringer with a cross that Ringer put in the cage with 5:10 left in the first overtime to send the Lady Bills to the regional finals.

“I knew we eventually would get the ball to go in if we kept pushing,” Krempa said. “Thank God it finally did.”

Ringer now has 107 goals in her career and 41 on the season for the Lady Bills, who are 36-1 over the past two seasons.

Before allowing two goals to Johnstown, Camden had posted shutouts in each of its previous three postseason contests and had 10 shutouts this season.

“Camden has amazing stick stills and quickness,” Krempa said. “They’re a good team.”

Igoe finished with 17 saves for the Blue Devils, while Abby VanValkenburgh made four saves.

“This was a total team effort today,” Krempa said. “All of the girls did a great job. To play the full 60 minutes and then some on a cold night is amazing.”

With the win, Johnstown (18-0 overall) advances to Saturday’s regional finals to face Section IV champion Greene at Vestal High School at 11 a.m. the winner will advance to the state semifinals, which will take place at Williamsville North High School near Buffalo.

“I’m so happy that we won,” Ringer said. “It feels amazing. We’ve still got to keep pushing and fighting.”

Camden finished its season with a 15-5 overall record.

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