Girls soccer wins three straight
Just as quickly as the Emmaus girls soccer team lost a bit of its swagger, the Hornets got it right back. A disappointing loss to Pocono Mountain East was met with a challenge from head coach Sarah Oswald. She asked her team to win three conference games this past week to put it back in good standing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
The challenge was accepted and Emmaus picked up wins against Stroudsburg (3-6-0, 4-6-0), Northampton (5-3-1, 6-3-1) and Bethlehem Catholic (3-5-0, 3-5-0) by a combined score of 20-2, putting Emmaus back in the hunt in the EPC.
“We’ve responded really well and have bought in to how we want to attack, how we want to play and what we’re asking of them,” said Oswald. “I’m not sure we were all on the same page going into that game against Pocono Mountain East, but they rose up to the challenge. We needed to get three conference wins this week and that’s what we did, so I’m hoping that these performances and the ability to attack and score is going to help us.”
Against Beca, Emmaus picked up a 9-0 win with seven different players scoring up goals. The barrage included a couple players who hadn’t been involved in much of the scoring this season. Spreading around the opportunities was exactly what Oswald wanted to see from her team’s new attack.
“It’s awesome that we were able to get a bunch of different kids involved in our attack and finishing from our central midfielders that haven’t had a lot of opportunities to strike the ball from distance and from our wide forwards,” said Oswald. “Every goal we scored tonight was a quality goal that required some consistency and some focus and that’s something that we haven’t consistently seen this season. So that was great to be able to see tonight and to see against Stroudsburg the other night.”
Amy Lineberger and Kellie Reith led the scoring against the Golden Hawks, scoring two goals each. Gianna Albanese, Kaitlyn Carter, Maddie Fey, Lindsay Phillips and Krysti Schmidt also scored goals in the win.
Lineberger said the team worked hard after the loss to the Cardinals because the players and coaches knew they couldn’t allow some of the bad habits they developed to fester.
“Our main focus was to regroup and recover for a couple days and then get back into the groove of playing like Emmaus again,” said Lineberger. “It was a bit of a blow, but we’ve come back and we’re ready again.”
Maddie Fey, Sophie Pickering and Sarah Schuster scored two goals each against Stroudsburg in the Hornets’ 9-2 win. Albanese, Carter and Schmidt also added goals in that win.
In between the two blowouts, Emmaus played a tough 2-0 game against Northampton in a game that picked up late in the first half after being delayed by thunder and lightning a couple weeks ago. Fey and Pickering were the scorers in that win.
Part of Emmaus’ recent success is a defense that has tightened up over the last week and has made scoring difficult on opponents.
“We talked to our back line and our defenders that our shape is the key,” said Oswald. “If we’re pulled or out of position, it breaks down our entire backline, so we’ve focused on knowing where you are on the field versus where your other teammates are and then dropping and pinching as quickly as possible rather than chasing the ball, which is what we’ve seen sometimes from our defenders.”
On Saturday, Emmaus played a tough Central Bucks East team and lost 2-0 to the soccer powerhouse. The Hornets have upcoming games against Liberty, Allen and Parkland over the rest of this week and early next week.
“Now, we just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Oswald said. “We’ve got everything going in the right direction, so we just have to keep building on that.”