Amador Valley’s sudden-death goal 1:52 into overtime gave the Lady Dons the 12-11 non conference victory over host Oak Ridge Saturday night.
The loss overshadowed an epic rally the Lady Trojans pulled off after trailing 11-9 with 71 seconds left in regulation play. Oak Ridge, playing less than 24 hours after defeating rival Granite Bay, was trying for its second big weekend win in a row.
“It’s a painful loss but we’ll use it as a learning experience,” Trojan coach Nathan Hendel said. “This one was a reschedule but I’m curious to know how we’d do if we didn’t have to play Granite Bay the night before. We were in kind of a malaise … some players were on but as a team we weren’t fully focused.”
Appearing dead in the water, Oak Ridge dug deep. Off the draw, Morgan Delwiche found Brianne Grosse who found Skylar Schuette in traffic and Schuette found the back of the net to get Troy within a goal.
“I had one defender in front and one behind so I sprinted down, cut to the middle, caught the ball, turned upfield and shot left-handed over my left shoulder into the top right corner,” Schuette said. “This team has so much heart, passion and teamwork and we couldn’t have come back without that.”
Again, the Trojans won the draw but loss possession out-of-bounds. Aly De Caro’s clutch steal returned it to Oak Ridge and after recoveries by Emma Reed and Sierra Watts after Amador Valley checks pried the ball loose, Gross took on a quadruple team to get the equalizer with just 2.3 left on the clock.
“The coach had a set play we knew would work … I saw the clock winding down and had to find an opening,” Gross said. “We believed we could do it.”
Troy made the first run at goal to open overtime but a turnover let the Dons take over. After trailing at one point 7-3 and watching the Trojans force overtime, Amador Valley’s Bella Mayo flushed a score to end it.
“Turnovers are a bug-a-boo and if you turn it over you give the other team hope and a chance,” Hendel said.
Oak Ridge started well with early scores from Schuette, 13 seconds in, Schuette again and a Sierra Watts feed to Reed who muscled in a shot for the 3-1 advantage. The Dons stayed close as Gross scored twice, De Caro connected after Kelcie Bonal’s upfield pass and Gross came back after a weaving run through the middle. With goalie Ashley Laing making big stops, Troy led 7-4 at the break.
Amador Valley crept to within 7-6 but back-to-back goals by Gross and Schuette put the hosts back on track with 12 minutes left. The Dons answered in a big way — five straight — to overtake Oak Ridge before the Trojans fought back to extend the match.
Gross tied for match-high scoring honors with 5 goals while Schuette added 4. Reed and De Caro also added goals while Gross, Reed, De Caro, Bonal, Sidney Salmon, Watts and Delwiche had assists. Laing finished with 8 saves.