Field hockey seeks 28th straight D-11 title
The Emmaus field hockey team was already banged up coming into its District 11 Class 3A semifinal meeting with Pocono Mountain East on Monday night and the Hornets left even more banged up when Leah Zellner went down with an ankle injury and had to be helped off the field. The good news is that Emmaus picked up a 2-0 win to move to 23-0 and advance to the District 11 Championship as the Hornets look for their 29th straight district title.
Emmaus took a 1-0 lead on a Kacie Patton goal in the first half. The shot went high and sailed over goalie Jessie Hohenstein. Emmaus had a huge advantage in shots on goal and penalty corners, but uncharacteristically was unable to capitalize on those advantages. The Hornets had 11 penalty corners, but scored on just one of them after the Cardinals turned aside their first nine attempts. The 10th time was the charm when Annika Herbine fired from up close. Her initial shot was stopped, but Hohenstein couldn’t locate the ball before Herbine did and tapped the ball into the goal.
Emmaus had an easier time dispatching Northampton in the quarterfinals, downing the Konkrete Kids 6-1. In that game, Zellner scored three times to stretch her season total to 51 goals for the Hornets. Even in that game, Emmaus was facing a number of injuries and illnesses, but was able to pull things together to get the win.
“I thought that with all of the adversity that we had to overcome, having two kids out with 103-degree temperature and then we have some shin splints with three or four of our kids,” said coach Sue Butz-Stavin. “[Olivia] Krogermeier has a calf-pull, so we played her maybe a third of the game and then sat her out the rest of the night and Kacie [Patton] was able to play with her really badly bruised right hand.
“Overall, we played pretty well and the kids that filled in did a nice job, so I’m happy that we’re moving on. It’s just survival and you just have to play well enough to advance.”
Senior Alison Johnston has been a part of the Hornets success throughout her high school career and thinks that this year’s team is still in great shape even though it has a few more injuries than its had in the past.
“Every year we have different talents and different strengths and I think that we can go just as far as we have gone any other year,” said Johnston. “I’m really excited how united we are. The beauty of it here at Emmaus is that we always have people to step up and play positions and we can still be a really great team and I think this year, we have a lot of team work and excellent passing.”
Johnston, who has her heart set on attending Penn State and playing club field hockey there, is quick to point out that the group of senior girls that she’s been a part of is a great group and is focused on not only stretching the team’s domination of District 11, but pushing the team to its third straight state title.
“I wouldn’t want to be with any other group,” she said. “They’re my best friends. Going into the season, we’ve heard people didn’t believe in us because they didn’t know us and our skills as much as they did the other classes, so it’s great for people to see how well we play together and how everybody is stepping up.”
Emmaus will face Easton tonight at Whitehall High School in the District 11 Championship.