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'They Were Just Like a Bunch of Animals Out There'

I was hoping to get something posted about this over the weekend, but the first full slate of football -- plus Brooke Point’s upset of then-No. 11 Osbourn -- consumed most of my time. But after talking with Riverbend field hockey Coach Lisa Brown late Thursday night, I learned of a performance that was as unlikely as it was spectacular.

During a home game against Colonial Forge on Sept. 3, Riverbend stormed back from a 3-0 halftime deficit to score four unanswered goals and win in overtime, 4-3.

The kicker, though -- which Brown didn’t mention until midway through our conversation -- was that all four goals were scored by one player: sophomore Olivia Nicotera. Four different players also recorded assists. Nicotera’s final goal came about “five or six minutes” into the seven-on-seven overtime period and helped Riverbend run its record to 2-2.

“They were working their butts off,” Brown said of the second-half comeback. “They were so motivated, and the adrenaline was flowing so much that going into [overtime], they were just like a bunch of animals out there.”

So that, naturally, begs the question: How in the world did Riverbend find itself in a 3-0 hole?

Brown said that while her team was still able to get a few shots on Colonial Forge goalkeeper Hannah Myers (18 saves), her team’s positioning “was just miserable.” This, then, led to several easy, breakaway goals for Colonial Forge.

At halftime, Brown said she talked to her team about individual responsibilities and how her midfielders were handling the Colonial Forge pressure. Initially, Brown said, the team’s midfielders were basically stuck in neutral, watching a play develop instead of stepping in ahead of time to prevent it.

In the second half, sophomore Bella Licciarrdello and classmate Jordan Riddick, who was an honorable mention All-Met last fall, led the resurgence. And by the time Riverbend tied the score and Nicotera had her hat trick, a truly indescribable moment had unfolded.

“Getting beat like that, I’m just surprised the kids weren’t hanging their heads,” Brown said. “[After that] third goal, everybody was going nuts. It was kind of bizarre.”

By Jason Mackey  |  September 7, 2009; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Commonwealth District , Field Hockey , Northwest Region , Riverbend  | Tags: Commonwealth District, Northwest Region, Riverbend, field hockey  
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