New Egypt's dream season ends with loss in final

Posted: November 24, 2003

EWING, N.J. — New Egypt's express train made an impressive run, but fell one stop short of completing a dream season.

The Warriors yielded two penalty-stroke goals in the first half and couldn't recover as the Pingry School notched a 2-1 victory in the NJSIAA state Group 1 field hockey championship yesterday at the College of New Jersey.

New Egypt finished at 15-1-3 in the program's third year.

"It's been a whirlwind of a season," New Egypt coach Patti Nicholson said. "I'm so proud of this group."

Pingry, located in Martinsville, Somerset County, won consecutive state Group 1 titles in 2000 and 2001. And it was easy to see that Big Blue was itchy to regain the state title that eluded them last year.

Pingry generated solid offensive pressure in the first half and forced New Egypt into two costly defensive mistakes that resulted in penalty strokes.

Ali Clarke buried both strokes, in the sixth and 21st minutes, to give Big Blue a 2-0 lead.

New Egypt's defense was solid the rest of the way, holding Pingry (19-3-2) to just two shots. Back Brittany Kennedy made the save of the game when she picked a shot off the goal line late in the second half.

"The defense did its job, they didn't let up a goal," Nicholson said. "I thought it took us a while to get adjusted to the turf. As the game progressed, I thought we played better."

Being cheered on by a large contingent of fans that made the trek, New Egypt clawed its way back into the game in the second half.

Junior Jennie Wysong generated a breakaway but was pulled down by a defender, giving the Warriors a penalty shot with 15 minutes, 36 seconds to play. Sarah Jo Galloway converted the stroke, pulling New Egypt within a goal of the lead.

But the Warriors were held without a shot the rest of the way.

Despite the loss, New Egypt's players tried to remain upbeat, satisfied at the standard they set for the program.

"It's a door that we've opened up for this program for the next 20 years," New Egypt senior forward Mallory Ossowski said. "It's an honor to be on the first team to get" to the state final.

Galloway added, "It's not disappointing at all. We've helped set precedents for every [sports program] at our school."

Contact suburban staff writer Tom McGurk at 215-854-5721 or tmcgurk@phillynews.com.

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