Hornets win fiield hockey title
The Emmaus field hockey team continued its run of success with another championship.
Two first-half goals from junior forward Riley Baughman were enough as the Hornets surrendered a second-half goal to defeat Liberty 3-1 last Thursday night in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championship at Whitehall High School.
Emmaus (21-0 overall) has won 76 straight games dating back to the 2015 season, and the win over the Hurricanes (18-3), which halted their 14 game win streak, gave the Hornets their third straight EPC title. They have won 23 of the last 25 conference championships.
The game last Thursday night, however, looked nothing like the first meeting during the regular season between these two teams.
Back on September 12, Emmaus blitzed Liberty 12-0. The Hurricanes went on to win 17 of their next 18 games, and were the most consistent team in the league all season other than the Hornets.
“Liberty came out with a lot of grit and toughness,” said Hornet senior Leah Zellner. “They’re a great team and we knew it was going to be a harder game than when we last played them. It’s the postseason and everyone gives it their all. We played with heart and a mental toughness. Liberty has a great defense, so we had to make sure our transitions were strong, and they were.”
Baughman scored the first goal of the game just 4:15 in off a low, line-drive pass by senior Olivia Krogermeirer. Then with a little less than nine minutes left in the first half, Baughman tallied her second, this one coming from freshman Annika Herbine.
After the halftime break, Emmaus added a third off a rocket shot from just at the top of the circle by junior Kacie Patton for a 3-0 lead.
Despite facing a three-goal deficit against a team on a 75-game win streak, Liberty never quit.
The Hurricanes tacked one on with 6:58 to go on a hard shot by senior Olivia Sahaydak, the conference’s leading goal scorer with 65. Sahaydak is also committed to Duke University next fall.
Before that goal that ruined the shutout, Emmaus had outscored its opponents 173-3 this season.
The Green Hornets outshot the Hurricanes 21-10 over the course of the game.
Junior goalie Claire Nielsen made four saves.
Emmaus will now look to build on its district title streak when it takes on the winner of East Stroudsburg North and Northampton tonight at 6 p.m. at Emmaus High School.
“We need to keep playing strong like we are,” Zellner said. “We have to practice hard and just take one game at a time.
“If we keep playing every game like it’s our last, because it is, then we will have the heart and desire to win.”