Smoky Hill sophomore Darian Smith (9) pushes the ball towards the St. Mary’s Academy goal during the second half of the Buffaloes’ 5-2 loss in a state field hockey play-in game on Oct. 24, 2022, at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

ENGLEWOOD | The Smoky Hill field hockey team’s resurgent season earned the program a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2014.

The Buffaloes — a collection of athletes from Smoky Hill, Cherokee Trail and Eaglecrest — snapped a 75-game winless streak for the program earlier in the season and coach Lisa Griffiths’ team added two more victories to get one of four play-in spots.

Smoky Hill went on the road to face St. Mary’s Academy Oct. 24 with a spot in an opening round contest against Mountain Vista going to the victory. The host Wildcats tallied at least one goal in all four quarters on their way to a 5-2 victory that brought the Buffs’ season to end with a 3-12-1 record.

Sophomore Elyse Bailey scored both goals for Smoky Hill in the play-in contest as she carried possession in from the wing and score at point blank range in the third quarter and she converted a penalty stroke in the fourth quarter as well.

St. Mary’s Academy advanced to a first round state playoff matchup with eighth-seeded Mountain Vista.

Liberty defeated Dakota Ridge 3-0 in the other play-in contest.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

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