Thornton’s Overtime Goal Gives Patriots a Perfect Season… Finally!


Kerry Thornton jumping for joy after scoring the winning goal. Photo by Bruce Larabe.

Sydney Tasman, Sports Editor

BINGHAMTON, NY-  The heart of every Ward Melville field hockey player was in their throats on Sunday, November twelfth at the Class A State Championship game.  After a ruthless back and forth battle between the Maine-Endwell Spartans and the Patriots, senior Kerri Thornton seamlessly found the backboards with an assist from senior and co-captain Kate Mulham.  The goal was scored with four minutes and thirty-seven seconds left in overtime.

For the Patriots, who finished their season with a resounding record of 22-0, the pressure of overtime wasn’t something new.  “We’ve experienced games like this in our regular season, we even went into a shoot out for two of them so all of us were ready to play when that final whistle blew at the end of regulation,” Mulham, a seasoned varsity vet, said of her team’s mindset.  Something else that kept that fire burning under the cleats of the Patriots? The sweet taste of revenge.  This is Ward Melville’s third appearance at the state tournament, having lost in overtime in the final game in 2015 and again in the semi-final game in 2016. “We’ve all been through this before, and even though coach reminds us to focus on the present, the  memory of how it felt to lose two years in a row definitely helped us to come out strong,” explained senior and starting defender, Shannon Coughlan.  

This will be the second state title ever in Ward Melville field hockey history since the 2008 team clutched the win in a similar overtime fashion. The girls have also made school history being the first Ward Melville field hockey team to end their season with a perfect record.  You know that they say, the third time’s the charm!