For the first time in school history, Bermudian Springs is headed to the YAIAA field hockey championship game.
Nicki Wolf made that official Wednesday night when she slapped the ball into the far side of the net in the third minute of overtime to give the Eagles a 2-1 victory against New Oxford for their first YAIAA semifinal victory.
"This is our year," Wolf said. "We've been trying so hard and we've always come short every year."
Bermudian Springs has been a regular in the YAIAA tournament, winning nine straight Division III titles. In last season's semifinal, the Eagles lost to Central York in overtime by that same score.
This time, though, the Eagles were the ones to prevail in the 7-on-7 overtime. Kayla Pyles sent a long pass ahead to Wolf, whose one-timer put an exciting end to the game and the tournament losing streak.
"I saw the ball go and knew it had a great chance," Bermudian Springs coach Neil Bixler said. "The key is getting a breakaway or getting somebody ahead, so that it's them against the defender or the goalie. That's typically how you win in 7-v-7."
Wolf's shot also gave the Eagles their only lead of the game, as they played from behind during a 6 1/2 minute stretch in the second half and spent the rest of the game deadlocked with the Colonials. The game's first goal came on a backhand shot by New Oxford's Kaelyn Long in the 14th minute of the first half, before Bermudian Springs senior Kenzie Farley answered with a breakaway goal.
For a brief span late in the second half, it looked as though the Eagles would come up short again.
Braxtin Reddinger tapped in a pass from Long, and the Colonials stuck their arms up in the air. Two New Oxford fans watching from the bleachers leaped onto the ground and started running around screaming, "Goal!" But the goal was disallowed when referees said Reddinger used the wrong side of her stick to play the ball.
After Wolf's goal several minutes later, Bermudian Springs players rushed onto the field to celebrate.
They don't have much time to savor their first tournament win, though: Bermudian will face Dallastown at 7 p.m. Thursday at Northeastern High School for the league championship. At a tournament earlier this season, the Division I champion Wildcats beat the Eagles, 2-1. And in Wednesday's other semifinal, Dallastown handed Gettysburg its first defeat of the year by a 1-0 score.
"I know what they do," Bixler said of Dallastown. "We hit too many balls where we were trying to get it long back to New Oxford, particularly to Kaelyn Long. We can't do that."
Meanwhile, New Oxford's YAIAA season ends with a defeat in its first appearance in the league tournament.
"It was very exciting to be able to get here," Colonials coach Cheryl Mowery said. "It was a nice goal to reach here, and we're only losing three seniors so we have a chance to get back again next year. It's nice to see our program stepping up and getting to the next level."
New Oxford010—1Bermudian Springs011—2
Second half — 1. NO, Kaelyn Long (Lauren Slonaker) 27:33, 2. BS, Kenzie Farley 21:00.
Overtime — 3. BS, Nicki Wolf (Kayla Pyles) 12:21.
Shots on goal — NO 5, BeS 6.
Corners — NO 8, BeS 10
Goalies — NO, Sydney Leete. BeS, Madison Dewease.