Gwynedd Mercy Academy field hockey team says time was lost during crucial game

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November 20, 2013 5:58:34 PM PST
Gwynedd Mercy Academy in Gwynedd Valley says it has been dismissed, ignored and insulted. The girls on the field hockey say they lost seven minutes of a crucial game that knocked them out of the state championships.

"I definitely thought that we still had a chance in the game and had something to prove," co-captain Morgan Meehan said.

The co-captains of the field hockey team still feel the sting of their loss in the state semi-finals last week.

They were behind 2 to 1 when their opponents were awarded a penalty stroke.

But Gwynedd Mercy says the officials let the clock run too long after the penalty.

They reset the game clock, but the clock keeper apparently set the wrong time, erasing seven minutes of the second half.

"There was apparently no backup clock and the officials on the field did not have any kind of watch or stopwatch on their person," athletic director Terri Fasano said.

So, they played on with time running out much too fast.

"I think we just deserve to play a full game if it was going to be our last," co-captain Christa Giordano said.

Could they have scored one, two, or three goals in those seven minutes?

"Who knows what could have happened. Anything's possible," Giordano said.

Now, they'll never know, and that hurts.

"I am proud of how far we've came, but a little disappointed that that game had to be the last field hockey that I will play probably forever," Meehan said.

The team doesn't want to replay the game. They accept the loss. They just want acknowledgement that they were wronged.

"We didn't want the fact that seven minutes had to be taken from us to be dismissed. We just wanted to be heard," co-captain Cassie O'Brien said.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is investigating.

Its executive director says Gwynedd Mercy deserves some of the blame for not providing its own backup clock.

And the PIAA says the coach failed to notify the game officials of a clock problem until it was too late.

Nonetheless, the school will continue to press for an apology and changes.

"We just want somebody at PIAA to recognize it, so simply that this will not happen again," Fasano said.

The PIAA says this is a first in its long history. The rules don't allow for protest, but they say they will be looking at the video of the game and will evaluate the situation.

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