East Penn Press

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Girls lacrosse falls in EPC semifinal

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz understood how big of a challenge it would be to take down No. 2 seeded Easton last Thursday in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals.

Not only did the Hornets suffer one of their two league losses to the Red Rovers last month, Emmaus was playing without two of its top players this time around.

The Hornets hung around with Easton for a half, but the Red Rovers’ firepower turned out to be too much. Holding a 10-6 lead at halftime, Easton (14-1) scored six straight after intermission en route to a 20-11 victory over the Hornets (13-6) at Northampton High School.

“The girls played their hearts out,” Betz said. “With losing some of our normal starters, we had some girls that had to step up today. I thought [senior attacker] Kendelle Conrad did an amazing job for us, stepping up on attack when we left some of our starting attack players.”

Conrad, who scored both goals in the regular season finale loss to Parkland a couple days earlier, figured to play an even bigger role with three goals against Easton. The Hornets played without senior Maddy Dorn and junior Paige Weaver, two of their top goal scorers.

Easton’s attack was too powerful and well balanced. Four Red Rovers scored at least three goals in the win, led by Hanna Doerner’s five.

“It can be very difficult, but I think Kendelle did an awesome job doing that,” Betz said. “Our midfielders did well. I know we told the midfield from the beginning that they had to get more shots on goal today than normal. We got the shots on.”

Taylor O’Brien, who also scored three goals, actually put Emmaus in front 1-0 with a goal not even a minute into play. That lead held for less than two minutes before Easton went on a 5-0 spurt.

Emily Tuturice got the scoring started for the Red Rovers, tying the game at 1-1 with 22:43 to play in the half. Grace Langen and Leanna Deegan then tallied back-to-back goals within 21 seconds to push Easton’s lead to 3-1, and Allison Drake and Tuturice responded with two more in a span of 16 seconds to give the Red Rovers five goals in the first five minutes.

“I think we regrouped after the Parkland loss,” Betz said after her team’s 14-2 loss. “We concentrated on what we had to do today to try and come away with a win. We worked on several things looking at Easton. They are two completely different teams.

“Easton is fast; I think Easton has a fast transition. We could not keep up with them on the transition.”

Conrad scored twice, and O’Brien added another during a 3-1 spurt for Emmaus that got the Hornets within 6-4. Then Claire Nelson (three goalsd) and Grace Hall made it an 8-6 game late in the second half.

But the Red Rovers scored two late goals in the first half to carry momentum into the break.

“I think we’ve had a problem with giving up late goals in the first half,” Betz said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to work on. But we have a lot of young players out there that aren’t as comfortable with clock management and time management.”

Easton pushed its lead to 16-6 just 6:40 into the second half.

Parkland beat Nazareth in last Thursday’s other semifinal game. The Trojans went on to defeat Easton in Monday’s championship game.

Betz and the Hornets will have some time off to get healthy before districts begin. They are ranked No. 3 in the District 11 Class 3A, which would put them in a first-round game against Nazareth in Thursday’s quarterfinals.