Fey hat trick leads girls soccer to semifinal
Maddie Fey scored three times as Emmaus downed Stroudsburg 7-0 in the first round of the District 11 playoffs and then went on to beat Whitehall 1-0 in the quarterfinals last week. The wins put the Lady Hornets into the semifinals where they faced Easton with an eye toward reaching the District 11 Championship.
Fey’s hat trick was her first of the season and her goals were the first three goals of the game for Emmaus. The first two goals came just a minute apart to give Emmaus quick momentum. Gianna Albanese assisted on the first goal and Lily Schmitt picked up the assist on the second goal. Both would go on to get goals of their own in the game, as would Sophie Pickering and Amy Lineberger.
“I don’t believe that I’ve ever scored two goals so close together, but there were good assists and that was the key,” said Fey. “Our plan was to get out wide and get crosses and then just finish them and that’s what they both were. I was expecting it to be a tougher game, because it’s a playoff game and you have to win, but we played really well and I’m really proud of everyone.”
Emmaus beat the Lady Mounties earlier in the season by a 9-2 score, giving them a lot of confidence heading into their first round game against Stroudsburg. Hornet head coach Sarah Oswald put together an attacking game plan that her team executed perfectly.
“I knew that if we were able to attack consistently and effectively that there would be goals to be had,” said Oswald. “We talked about the way that we wanted to attack and the kids did that. They used the way that we wanted to attack and used the wide space and we were able to get in front of the goal and put them behind.”
Against Whitehall, it was Albanese who scored the only goal of the game with 12 minutes left in the first half.
The defense has played well for Emmaus, with 10 of its 14 wins this season being shutouts. Kaitlyn Carter preserved the shutout for Emmaus when she made a fantastic defensive play midway through the second half.
Carter helped out goalie Alexa Ryan, who was caught out of position and cleared a ball just before it crossed the goal line at the front of the net.
Ryan, a sophomore, has played well for Emmaus this season and is an underrated part of why the Hornets returned to the district semifinals for the second straight season.
“Alexa has been fantastic all year for us,” said Oswald. “She’s a kid that as a coaching staff, we’ve been talking about how she’s been one of the biggest reasons why we’ve been so successful. She’s stopped so many goals that have been quality shots and ones that most goalkeepers would probably see in the back of the net,.
“She’s been unstoppable and I’m super-confident with her back there and I think that our defensive line is confident with her back there, so to say that she’s been underrated, definitely, but not to our team and not to our coaching staff.”
The Hornets may be without forward Kelly Reith, who went down with an injury against Stroudsburg.
“She has been a great target forward and somebody that we have relied on to create opportunities for our other forwards and central midfielders,” said Oswald. “Other kids are ready to step up and we have to have those tough conversations if Kelly isn’t able to go.”
Emmaus faced Easton Tuesday in the semifinals. The game was played Press deadline. See next week’s issue for coverage. Heading into the game though, Emmaus is exuding confidence and has seemingly taken a new approach to the game since dropping a 4-1 game at home to Pocono Mountain East in mid-September. That game forced the team to really examine how they were playing and what they needed to change to be successful.
“That was a big turning point, that loss,” said Fey. “That brought a big mindset change and was a big turning point and we’ve played better and the training sessions became more focused and intense.
“We’re really happy with how we’re playing and the fact that we’re training really hard. All of our training sessions have been really focused, because we know it’s going to be a hard playoff season and we’re really excited to play.”