Hickey's hat trick leads Hoosick Falls to win
We've seen it in the professional ranks by athletes including Madison Bumgarner, Tom Brady and LeBron James, among so many other stars.
The Hoosick Falls field hockey team might not get the attention of those highly-revered athletes, but they had a star of their own shine bright Thursday afternoon in their Section II Class C quarterfinal game against No. 7 seed Glens Falls.
Junior Lillian Hickey played the starring role for the Panthers, scoring all three goals as Hoosick Falls topped the Indians, 3-1.
The midfielder has been a consistent threat throughout the season for the Panthers, leading the squad with 21 tallies.
"She's been that leader on the field that's willing to step up and the go-to person we need out there," said Hoosick Falls coach Denise Campbell. "Her bad day is a pretty good day for most girls, so it's nice to have a player like her on the field."
The first half had a clear back and forth, fast-paced feel to it throughout. It seemed as though the Panthers would make a run down the field and be stopped and then Glens Falls would do the same. Campbell would have preferred her side to have been a little more dominant early in the game against a team they were expected to beat. The coach pointed to the inexperience of her team being a reason for that.
"We came out a little nervous. Three-quarters of the team, this is their first time in a playoff situation," Campbell said.
Coming out of halftime, Hoosick Falls stepped up its play in a big way with most of the first part of the second half being focused in the opposing zone. Two of Hickey's three goals came in the second half.
"Our midfielders did a really good job of keeping the pressure, keeping the ball up toward our forwards. Anna Myers just did a really good job for us today," Campbell said. "At halftime we just gave them that little bit of adrenaline rush that just made them come out and be inspired to play harder and better and more as a team."
Glens Falls' lone goal came with a little over three minutes left in the contest. Hickey's third goal put the game away for the Panthers.
With Thursday's win, No. 2 seed Hoosick Falls has a week off and will next be in action on October 26 for the sectional semifinals.
The Panthers will take on the winner of No. 3 Taconic Hills and No. 6 Warrensburg game which was also played Thursday at 3 p.m.
Campbell knows her team will have to step up their game if they want to make the sectional championship on October 29 and defend the Class C title they won last season.
"We can't come out nervous. We have to communicate better as a team. I could go down a list of things we need to work on," Campbell said. "Either way its going to be a good game."
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @AAucoin_Banner
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