Boiling Springs ends 2022 undefeated season with 2-1 overtime nail-biter against Bishop McDevitt

There are very few 2022 regular season endings that are going to be as memorable as Boiling Springs’ and Bishop McDevitt’s.

The Bubblers went 18-0 after seizing the 2-1 overtime win Thursday against the Crusaders. The game between the District 3 Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division rivals left everything on the field.

“I am just so proud of my team,” Bishop McDevitt’s head coach Steve Heckman said. “They played their hearts out.”

Despite the loss, it was a good benchmark that indicates the Crusaders are ready for playoffs, he said. The game, unsurprisingly, was physical and emotional for the players.

Boiling Springs collected four cards and Bishop McDevitt had three. The warnings were mostly for pushing. The Bubblers worked their way up to a yellow.

“I’m super proud they were able to pull it off playing with numbers down for about 15 minutes of the game,” Boiling Springs head coach Kortney Showers said.

Near the end of regulation, one player from each team was ejected for off-ball pushing along the sideline.  

“Between the two girls at the end of the regular, and one in overtime, they were five-minute cards,” Showers said. “And we still pulled it off. I’m proud of them for pushing through because they were tired.”

The contest was unlike most of Boiling Springs’ 2022 regular season matches. Greenwood was the first team to score on them and force them into overtime. Before McDevitt got one in on Thursday, another Capital Division contender – Susquehanna Twp. – was also able to find the Bubblers cage.

But McDevitt set itself apart from other programs, when they unapologetically ran Boiling Springs all the way to the end. There was no time remaining in regulation when they became the third team to score on them.

“I walked off that field feeling so proud of my team,” said Crusader senior Madison Snyder. “I’ve never felt happier.”

McDevitt fouled Boiling Springs inside the circle. They earned a corner. When it began, the Bubblers jumped it and had to send one player back to the 50 leaving three defenders in the cage.

Boiling Springs continued to play aggressively. Snyder couldn’t have been any more cornered on the corner.

“If I saw it correctly, (the ball) either hit off another stick or the goalie’s pads,” Snyder said. “I just saw it. And, there was another player off to my left. I was thinking, ‘I have to get this in. This is it.’ And, I just hit it in. And, mind blown. I have never been so excited like this before in my life.”

Boiling Springs scored first. Snyder said the Crusaders weren’t cool with it.

“That’s not us,” she said. “We knew going into this that we needed to show them who we are. And, that’s what we did at the end. That was a team effort. That was a team that I’m so proud of.”

Reese Hays scored first in the second quarter, which is a late start for the Bubblers.

“Lexi Hanlin sent it to me, and I just ripped it,” she said.

Hanlin drove the ball down the right and passed to Hays, who was just inside the circle. Bishop McDevitt up to that point wasn’t allowing the Bubblers to transfer the ball to their strong side.

“That’s something we practice a lot,” Hays said. “I was happy to capitalize on it. It’s just one of those things. I did it, everyone cheered, and I was just really happy. It was the first goal and we had to get it out of the way.”

Hays was facing the goalie when she shot her shot, so she had options and one or two seconds to decide what to do next.

“I just swiped it in,” she said. “I just went through her legs. I was standing off to the side of her pads, and I just stepped in front of her and cut off her view.”

The junior Bubbler said she and her team know it’s the time of year when emotions can elevate game play. Boiling Springs is more comfortable now allowing a goal here or there.

“Everyone was just trying to lift each other up; trying to hype each other up,” she said. “Two days ago, we only had one goal scored against us. And now we have two goals scored against us. It’s just something that we need to brush off and keep going.”

Kiley Stolzfus, a Liberty University commit, stood her ground in the middle of the field, as well as running defensive flyer on corners. She got the Crusaders out of a handful of jams with her quick stick.  

The real grit, though, came in 7-aside sudden victory overtime. For the Bubblers, it was closer to 6 vs 7.

Shae Bennett, who had been sidelined at the end of regular play, returned in overtime around 14 minutes. The game was even until halfway through, when Bishop McDevitt showed how badly they wanted to win. They got a shot off with 6:40 remaining, which seemingly sent off alarm bells for the Bubblers.

Less than 30 seconds later, Reagan Eickhoff, a senior and Ohio State commit, was given a yellow card. The clock was at 6:16. That meant Eickhoff was back in the game at 1:16.

During that time, the game went up and down the field without either team scoring. Four seconds before the Bubblers were back to full capacity, they earned a corner. No goal. Eickhoff went back in the game, and the Bubblers earned another corner. No goal.

Corner play ensued for the Bubblers – McDevitt was defending – and a Crusader sent the ball over the endline. If a defender or a goalie intentionally sends the ball over the endline, the call is upgraded to a corner.

The Bubblers sent a hard ball toward cage. There was a scramble in front of the goalie. Three sticks – all Boiling Springs – were in front of the goalie and on the ground.

For the win, it was Alexa Bandura who put it away for the Bubblers final regular season game.

“I had a lot of confidence in them – we’ve been scored on; we’ve won in overtime,” Showers said. “We’ve had those experiences. That’s one of the things that’s nice about this team. They have experiences and can sense when to adjust naturally. They don’t have to be over-coached.”

The Bubblers weren’t sure who scored the goal after the game. They reviewed video to confirm it was Bandura. She scored with no time remaining.

“They were down early,” Heckman said of the Crusaders, who came back to force overtime. “But, they kept the game close. They kept it at 1-nothing…I told them, no crying after that game. This is a confidence builder for playoffs. This is what we needed.”

Bubblers: 2 (OT)

  • Goals – Reese Hays, Alexa Bandura
  • Assists – Lexi Hanlin
  • Shots – 16
  • Penalty Corners – 15 (4 in OT)
  • Saves – Eva Hancock (5)

Crusaders: 1

  • Goals – Madison Snyder
  • Assists – Kylie Stolzfus
  • Shots – 3
  • Penalty Corners – 2
  • Saves – Kalea Ferguson (7)
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