HUDSON — They say there's no time like the first time. Hudson got to experience that feeling on Thursday night with the program's first-ever region victory.
The Cobras accomplished the feat in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 win over Orlando Bishop Moore.
The Hornets (17-6-4), owners of six state championships, are no strangers to playoff success. And they were out to a 2-0 lead less than midway through the first half.
But Hudson (22-2-1) regained its defensive footing, thanks to keeper Jessie Imbimbo. Imbimbo finished with 14 saves, and she made some timely sprawling stops to keep the game within reach.
"(In the locker room,) we told the team that we only needed to get one (goal)," Hudson coach Christine Rizzieri said. "There's a never-say-die attitude with this team, and they came out with that passion (in the second half)."
Momentum changed immediately in the second half as Hudson controlled the ball after getting only one shot on goal in the entire first half. That aggression paid off in the form of a Katy McGee goal to bring the Cobras within one. Less than three minutes after that goal, leading scorer Lindsay Zullo made good on a breakaway attempt to knot the score at 2.
It stayed that way until 8:30 left in regulation. Defender Stacy Swezey went down in a heap on the field with a severe injury, and the air seemed to leave the stadium. After the injury timeout, the Hornets struck quickly on a goal by Megan Young.
The Cobras regrouped, and Alicia Schuering scored to tie with only 3:56 left on the clock. The clock ran down and the contest went to sudden-death overtime.
With momentum back on Hudson's side, Zullo took advantage.
Less than two minutes into the period, she scored her 27th and most important goal of the season on a deflection to give the Cobras the historic postseason win.