Maggie Fern scored off of a foul in the second overtime to lift Berkeley High School’s girls lacrosse team to a 13-12 win over host Piedmont in the West Alameda County Conference semifinals at Witter Field on April 27.
The loss leaves the Highlanders at 8-9 on the season and needing to apply for an at large berth into the North Coast Section playoffs. Those brackets will be announced on May 1.
Fern’s goal was her fifth of the game and the fourth following a foul. She went directly at the goal and bounced the ball past Piedmont goalkeeper Lindsay Kottle.
“After the foul, I was really just thinking about clearing my head,” Fern said. “I just really wanted to focus on placing that shot, not getting worked up about it and staying calm. It worked.”
Berkeley held an 11-7 lead midway through the second half. The Yellowjackets were still leading 12-10 after Lane Imen’s goal with just three minutes, 45 seconds remaining on the clock.
But Katharine Kinne scored on a rebound of an Elizabeth Ethington shot with 2:43 left to make it 12-11. Then, with Berkeley trying to run the clock out with 1:15 to go, the Yellowjackets were called offside after Piedmont’s Holland Feinberg helpfully pointed it out to the officials.
“I was right,” Feinberg screamed, leaping in the air with both arms extended after the call. It looked like the biggest play of the game when Kinne fed Charlotte Theut for the game-tying goal with 57.3 seconds left on the clock.
The teams then went to sudden-death overtime, which is broken into three-minute segments. Neither team scored in the first, although both had chances. The same happened in the second until Fern scored the golden goal with 43 seconds left.
The Highlanders jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, with Molly Ashton, Theut, and Audrey Mahany netting the goals. Berkeley came back with four goals in a row. The teams stayed close to halftime, which ended in a 7-7 tie after Theut scored with 13 seconds remaining.
Berkeley scored the first four goals of the second half to seemingly take control.
“When it was 7-11, I was feeling kind of down,” Ethington said. “The team just kept pushing and pushing, did what I know we were capable of and brought it back. I think that was super special. Lindsay made some amazing saves in the last few seconds. I was just really proud that we were able to come together. Obviously, it sucks that we didn’t get it. But I’m really proud with how we ended up playing because we truly played as a team. Everything that we have been working for throughout the season really showed up on the field today.”
Said Highlanders coach Carlton Chan, “One of the things we were trying to get the girls to remember was one step at a time, one play at a time, one goal at a time, one defensive stop at a time.”
Chan said the regular season final between the teams went in a similar fashion. Berkeley took a 5-2 lead, then Piedmont rallied to win, 15-11.
“I think we scared them,” Chan said. “I knew we could do it.”
The Highlanders were playing without Hailey Marshburn in the rematch after she suffered a concussion in the first matchup.