Hudson field hockey powers past Magnificat to reach state final four

Staff Report
Hudson's Hanna Killeen takes a shot during the Explorers' 3-1 win over Magnifcat in a district final Oct. 31 at home.

The Hudson field Hockey team will return to Columbus and the state tournament for the third time in six years,

Hudson dispatched second seed Magnificat 3-1 Oct. 31 in the OHSAA Northeast District Final at Malson Stadium.

The Explorers controlled the contest, recording 25 shots on goal to 3 for Magnificat, overcoming three first half green card penalties, and outlasting a superb 19-save effort by Blue Streaks keeper Clare Schlegel.

It was only fitting that on the day Senior forward Marita Johnson broke coach Louise Knox’s seasonal goal record (then Louise Hendershott had 29 in 1986) that Johnson would figure in all 3 of Hudson’s goals.

Just 45 seconds into the game, sophomore Brooke Buchanan just missed goal wide left off a pretty feed from senior Hanna Killeen. At 12:51 in the first quarter, Johnson rifled a Morgan Lindow pass off Schlegel’s pads for her first save. 

Three minutes later, at 9:38, Johnson pulled the goalie out of position with a deep run, and delivered a perfect pass to Buchanan, whose backhander would dribble across the goal line for a 1-0 Explorer lead. 

Hudson made it 2-0 at 6:06 in first quarter on a penalty corner. Buchanan inserted through a Johnson fake to senior Jamison Cart, who slid the ball to Killeen, who assisted back to Johnson for her 29th goal on the season.

It was Hudson’s third of 14 penalty corners to just two for Maginficat.

 Hudson played down a player for much of the 2nd quarter, as Johnson (10:29), junior Kaci Ramlow (7:23) and Killeen (5:09) all received two-minute green cards.

Nevertheless, Hudson players were celebrating what appeared to be a 3-0 lead with 3:10 left in 2Q, before officials rewarded a corner instead, and Hudson went to half up 2-0.

Johnson scored her record=breaking 30th goal with 6:39 left in the third, set-up by Killeen’s nifty feed in transition.

“The girls played with grit and poise, showing their speed, strong stick skills, and teamwork - working together, playing possession ball and shifting the momentum onto attack," Knox said. "They kept aggressive throughout the game against a strong goalkeeper."

Regarding her fallen record, Coach Knox added, “I don’t want to take away any recognition from Marita and our other talented scorers (Killeen 21 goals, Buchanan 20 goals), but I truly believe that it wouldn’t be possible for any forward to be successful at finding the net without a strong relationship and friendship with her teammates.  This group of young women continue to prove they are a team”