Zeitz’s overtime game-winner completes SAA-opening win for Transylvania field hockey

Zeitz in action

Sewanee, Tenn. – Harper Zeitz blasted a game-winning shot six minutes into overtime to clinch a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Sewanee Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Puett Field.

Zeitz's game-winner completed a back-and-forth match in which the Pioneers erased an early two-goal deficit, took a lead with under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and then conceded the tying goal with 55 seconds left in regulation.

The senior extinguished all of the momentum swings for the final time in the 67th minute of action with her second goal of the day to propel the Pioneers to victory in the Southern Athletic Association opening match for Transylvania.  

The Pioneers seized their third win of the season, moving their overall record to 3-6 along with a 1-0 record in SAA play. Sewanee fell to 2-8 overall and 0-2 in SAA play.  

Sewanee began the match at home appearing comfortable and in control as the Tigers scored six minutes into the match on a penalty corner attempt. Sewanee made it 2-for-2 in penalty corner efficiency with another goal at the 8:23 mark of the first quarter to suddenly claim a 2-0 lead on the Pioneers.

The Pioneers came screaming back in the second quarter as Lilly Kramer put her team on the board with a score in the 18th minute off a pass from Tori Coleman, cutting Sewanee's lead to 2-1. The Pioneers returned the favor to Sewanee, scoring an equalizer moments later via a penalty corner opportunity to square up the match at two goals apiece.

From that point forward, both teams' defenses shifted into high gear as penalty corners increased, but the defensive lines concurrently stepped up. Transylvania's Emily Cannon came up with a defensive save minutes before halftime to fend off Sewanee's best shot at going back on top as the game remained tied heading into halftime.

Opportunities were few and far between in the third quarter as a defensive theme continued into the fourth quarter of play. With time winding down in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers earned another penalty corner. Transylvania took full advantage as Makenna Saward fed Kramer on a penalty corner for the go-ahead goal by Transylvania with 2:07 left in regulation, putting the Pioneers ahead, 3-2.

Sewanee's last gasp in regulation went to perfection as a long-range shot from the Tigers' Buckley Norman skipped past Pioneer goalkeeper Sidney Varney with 55 seconds to go, tying the match at 3-3.

Each team jostled for possession and long runs in overtime and the Pioneers eventually maneuvered the ball downfield. Zeitz set up her game-winning penalty corner as she tried to guide the ball through traffic before the Tigers eventually fouled the senior.

Kramer handled the penalty corner from the left side and speared a pinpoint pass to Zeitz, who guided the ball with immense velocity to the back of the net, giving the Pioneers a sudden win.

Varney finished the match with five saves and the win while Zeitz finished the day with her first multi-goal game of the season. Saturday's win marked the second time this season Kramer has scored two or more goals in a match.

Transylvania and Sewanee will rematch with one another to finish out the weekend at Puett Field. The match will count as a nonconference contest and will begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, 10:00 a.m. local time in Sewanee.

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