AMESBURY — Caroline Marino had one year earlier experienced the heartbreak stemming from a sudden-death overtime defeat in the state tournament when she heard the final horn sound yesterday afternoon with her Newburyport field hockey team locked in a 1-1 tie with Marblehead yesterday.
Facing a potential overtime period for the second year in a row, the Clippers were granted one untimed short corner due to a rule that a game cannot end on a defensive penalty in the circle.
Marino, a junior forward, took a feed from Meghan Stanton and deposited her shot in the back on the cage, giving the seventh-seeded Clippers (11-5-3) a victory over 10th-seeded Marblehead (10-7-2) in the opening round of the Division 2 North state tournament at Amesbury Sports Park.
The Clippers will visit second-seeded Manchester Essex Saturday night at 7 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup.
It was Newburyport’s first victory in the state tournament since 2011. Last year, the Clippers fell to Wayland, 3-2, in overtime in an opening-round matchup.
“Obviously, I was nervous,” Marino said. “Last year, we played (7 on 7) in overtime, and unfortunately we lost. I didn’t want to lose this one. I wanted to go farther than last year. It was definitely nerve-wracking.”
Newburyport led in just about every statistical category — shots, short corners, time of possession in the opposing team’s defensive end — heading into the final minutes of the game, but still faced the possibility of seeing its season end on one shot in overtime.
The Magicians capitalized on a quick strike in the closing seconds of the first half, after spending much of the first 25 minutes in their own defensive end. Suzanna McCarthy broke a scoreless tie for Marblehead, putting Newburyport’s season on the brink of extinction.
“They got down to our end, took one shot, and scored,” Newburyport coach Lauren Hefferan said. “I told the girls at halftime they deserved this game, and they needed to step up. They did. They passed better, moved forward with the ball, and got on their goalie.”