Field hockey falls in state semifinal
The Emmaus field hockey season came to an end recently with a 1-0 loss to Wilson in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. The loss was the first of the season for Emmaus, which finish the season at 26-1-0. Wilson went on to defeat Lower Dauphin 2-1 in a shootout to take the state championship.
While Emmaus is used to having high-scoring teams that don’t allow many goals, this year’s team took it to new heights. The team allowed just 12 goals overall, five of which came in the postseason against higher levels of competition. Three of the seven regular season goals came in a 5-3 win against Downingtown West.
As for scoring, the Lady Hornets scored 221 goals, a new team record. All of this came with the team having faced significant losses from graduation.
“One would say that we were a young team at the start of 2019 season, because we graduated 50 percent of the 2018 team,” said coach Sue Butz-Stavin. “It has been a great season by anyone’s standards. We returned to the point of 2018.”
Next season, the team won’t be coming off such a dramatic loss of its roster, with just three members of this year’s team graduating in the spring. Kaitlyn Csensits, Lizzie Mazzella and Victoria Rivera were the only three seniors on this year’s team.
Mazzella was second on the team in goals with 35, while Csensits finished the year with 26 assists, good enough for third on the team. Rivera saw limited action behind goalkeeper Bailey Tietz, but gave Emmaus a capable backup in goal.
“The three all gave great leadership qualities to their team and set a great example that hard work, dedication, sacrifices and team unity are ingredients to team success,” said Butz-Stavin.
Meanwhile, things look bright for the future as the team will return Tietz in goal and will also have both Annika Herbine and Rachel Herbine returning. Annika, who led the team with 30 assists will be in her senior season, while younger sister Rachel will be a sophomore next season. Rachel Herbine led the team with 53 goals on the year and added 27 assists for a team-high 133 points as a freshman.
“The team for 2020 has already challenged themselves to take that next step,” said Butz-Stavin. “We have potentially a big incoming freshman class that shows a supporting cast to all the returning players for 2020. Now the rising seniors will challenge their leadership skills and give guidance to make 2020 a championship season.”
Annika Herbine and Tietz were recently saluted with their selection to the maxfieldhockey.com rankings of the top high school players in the country. Herbine was ranked in the top 10, while Tietz was listed among the top 100 players.
“Annika has stepped her game up each of the past seasons and is ready for a giant step next season,” said Butz-Stavin. “She will have plenty of USFHA exposure in the next eight months playing with the best of the best. Bailey will need to challenge her own personal goals and set new standards for her defensive unit. We have great individuals wanting to achieve and put in the hard work to make it possible.”
The team will have many of its players taking part in the U.S.A. Field Hockey National Hockey Festival this month. Annika Herbine and Tietz lead a contingent of underclassmen into the festival, which is held in Tampa, Florida.
As for coach Butz-Stavin, she finishes the season with 971 wins in her career as she closes in on the 1,000-win mark. She is already the winningest high school field hockey coach in the country and continues to stretch her lead over other coaches on the list.