LOWER GWYNEDD — It has been 10 days since the Gwynedd Mercy field hockey had something precious taken away from them. But it is not going to stop coach Sue Perischetti and her girls from giving this holiday season.Maybe the most valuable thing, time, was taken away during the PIAA Class AA semifinal game against Wyoming Seminary. Time, especially for the seven seniors on the team whose careers inevitably were winding down, did not need 6 minutes, 54 seconds to be cutoff from a season-ending, career-ending 3-1 loss. Over the past week-and-a-half ,the girls' emotions toward the officials and the unacknowledged miscue has bounced around. Friday morning, the team announced they decided to channel their frustration for good.
"Right after the game we were disappointed by the loss, but also because of the seven minutes that were taken from us,' senior co-captain Morgan Meehan said. "Over time we have gotten over it, but we want closure.'
The frustration is less about the loss and more about the lack of ownership from the PIAA and the deaf ears it fell on during the game. During the game the speaking captains of the team tried to let somebody know the clock was incorrect and nobody listened. This past week, they have been waiting for a statement from the PIAA, and while it is being considered under investigation the video speaks loud and clear.
"Since August we had been focused on getting to states and doing it with dignity and grace,' Perischetti said. "That is what we have done. On the field they spoke up for themselves. They were not heard.'
With no one else speaking loud and clear, Gwynedd Mercy athletic director Terri Fasano and Persichetti did so in the auditorium Friday morning. The girls plan on taking the seven minutes they lost in the state semifinal game and turning it into seven wishes for seven families at Saint Patrick's Church in Norristown.
"We will never know what those seven minutes could have meant to us,' Fasano said. "We applaud Wyoming Seminary. They are an excellent field hockey team. Now we are taking this issue to a new level.'
They will supply seven families with the Christmas dinner they did not expect. While it will just become one of the three dozen service projects the school is involved with year in and year out, the seven seniors and the rest of the field hockey team that stood up for themselves will never be forgotten.
"We need to end this season with the dignity and grace it started with,' Perischetti said. "We are dusting ourselves off and moving forward. We want to make sure we take care of seven families at Christmas Time in the name of my seniors and the time we lost in that game.'
Gwynedd Mercy just wants to be recognized for a crucial error in a game that the girls fought for since August to reach. It was a game with the magnitude that no field hockey team in the school had reached since 1996. It was a game in which its outcome may or may not have been changed if the almost seven minutes had not wrongfully disappeared. While that outcome is now in their past, the outcome for seven families for years to come will be thankful for the field hockey's team wish to be heard."We have to stay true to ourselves no matter how we have been treated or disregarded,' Perischetti said. "We wanted to always do something at this time of the year in remembrance of our game, but also because it is special time where you should be doing things for others. We are going to fight for what is right.'
Follow staff writer Andrew Marcus on Twitter @amarcus515.
For breaking news SMS alerts from The Reporter, text LANSPORTS to 22700 from your mobile phone. Message and data rates may apply. For help, text HELP. To cancel, text STOP.