EHS field hockey beats Easton in D-11 rematch
The last time Emmaus beat Easton in field hockey was a little more dramatic because it was in the District 11 finals and gave the Hornets their 30th straight district title.
This time around, though, the meeting was a regular season tilt but provided both teams with a measuring stick of where they are late in the season. Again, it was Emmaus that left victorious with a 4-1 win over the Red Rovers.
“These are the competitive games that you want and you need to be able to see where your strengths and weaknesses are and what little things you have to juggle around and I thought we responded very well,” said Emmaus head coach Sue Butz-Stavin, whose team is now 12-0-0 in the EPC and 14-0-0 overall. “Easton is very athletic, quick, fast and aggressive and they play hard and there’s nothing against that because you have to learn how to battle and hold your ground.”
Emmaus got out to a 1-0 lead when junior Annika Herbine fired a shot on goal and her younger sister, freshman Rachel Herbine, was able to tip the ball past goalkeeper Danielle Swallow. Had the younger sister not tipped the shot, it would have been waived off because it came from outside of the circle.
Rachel Herbine scored her second of the night, this one unassisted, with 12:24 left to play in the second half. Five-minutes later, the Herbine sisters hooked up again when Annika again fed Rachel to make it a 3-0 game.
“We’ve always connected really well together and we’ve been watching each other all of our lives,” said Annika Herbine, who recently returned to the lineup after suffering an injury. “We practice in our driveway together and have been playing a lot alike for a long time. I was excited during preseason because I knew she was going to play varsity. It’s a great opportunity.”
Easton had a couple of chances in the first half. The first came with 3:17 left to play when Riley McDonald had an open look at the goal with goalie Bailey Tietz out of position, but the ball bounced high off the stick of Aniya Schumaker and trickled well wide of the goal.
An even better situation presented itself when Easton was awarded a corner just as time ran out. The corner led to an Emmaus penalty in the box and McDonald took the shot for the Red Rovers and looked to put it high in the goal. Tietz knocked the ball up and over the crossbar, ending the half without any damage.
Easton did get one past Tietz with 7:23 left to play. Riley McDonald played a rebound that came back to her off of Tietz and pushed the ball into the cage for the lone goal of the night for Easton.
“We need Bailey to be able to come through for us,” said Butz-Stavin. “You hope that the defense can keep your opponents out of the cage. I think she just got a little distracted. We had a man down and I just don’t think she was really concentrating on that shot coming, but hopefully that’s a learning experience for her and we just have to move on.”
The final goal was again manufactured by a Herbine sister, this time, it was Annika, who was awarded a penalty shot with 3:09 left to play. Herbine stuck with her basic approach and beat Swallow for the insurance goal in the 4-1 win.
“I was looking to fake right and then go left, that’s my usual move,” said Annika Herbine.
Herbine’s return wasn’t rushed because the team felt it could carry through a portion of the schedule while she rehabbed. She isn’t quite 100 percent, but didn’t show any limitations on the field against a strong team.
“She adds some nice little ingredients there for us,” said Butz-Stavin. “She just adds that little extra touch with her ball speed and her vision, so it’s really nice to have her back.”