For three seasons now, goalie Claire Nielsen has been one of the more lonely players on the Emmaus field hockey team.
Most games, she’s standing in front of the goal cage watching way down field as the team’s offense gives her a nice cushion. And on the occasions where she thinks she may get to make a big play, most times, the defense shuts it down before she even gets a chance.
A 2-0 win over Stroudsburg Monday night has Emmaus poised for its 30th straight District 11 championship in field hockey. The Lady Hornets got two second half goals from Riley Baughman off assists from Kaitlyn Csensits and Annika Herbine to advance to the finals against Easton. The championship will be played Wednesday at Whitehall high School and will feature the top two seeds in districts, with both teams advancing to the PIAA tournament.
When the Emmaus girls soccer teams missed the East Penn Conference playoffs, it meant the team would go 12 days between games. In some cases, that can be too long of a layoff for a team to come out sharp in districts. For Emmaus though, the team used the time well and came out rejuvenated to pick up a 3-1 win over Nazareth in the quarterfinals of the District 11 Class 4A playoffs.
The win puts the Lady Hornets into the semis against familiar foe Parkland, who they met twice during the regular season, splitting the two games.
For the fourth time in two seasons, Emmaus and Parkland will meet in the postseason. They met in both the East Penn Conference and District 11 playoffs in each of the past two seasons, in addition to their four regular season meetings over the two years.
The teams are more used to meeting in the District 11 finals, having met in each of the last two championship games, with Parkland having won last year after Emmaus won in an overtime shooutout in 2016. This season, they meet in the semifinal round of districts.
For a while, it looked like Emmaus was going to pull off a big Senior Night win over Whitehall, which came into the game with just one loss in the East Penn Conference. However, the Zephyrs’ Kate Bonshak put up two goals in the second half to lead Whitehall to a 2-1 win over Emmaus.
As a nod to the seniors, Hornet head coach Sarah Oswald started with seniors in the lineup, including having Allie Stanley in goal. Stanley played about 10 minutes before starter Alexa Ryan took over for the Hornets.
Parkland came out putting constant pressure on the Emmaus defense and goalie Alexa Ryan. While the Hornets fended off the pressure, eventually, Parkland was able to get through the defense and picked up a 3-1 win over Emmaus in a key Eastern Pennsylvania Conference matchup.
The first meeting between the two teams went down as a historic Emmaus win as the Hornets snapped the Trojans’ 70-game District 11 winning streak. This time around, Parkland (12-2-0 EPC, 14-2-0 overall) looked to send a message.
After a big 5-1 win over previously undefeated Easton on Friday, the Emmaus field hockey team had less than 24 hours before it had a nonconference showdown with Downingtown East the following day. There was no sign of fatigue as Emmaus (12-0-0 EPC, 14-0-0 overall) remained undefeated with a 6-0 win over the Cougars.
Kacie Patton and Mackenzie Bruns each scored two goals for Emmaus, who also got goals from Riley Baughman and Kayla Kisthardt. In addition to her goal, Baughman picked up three assists in the game for Emmaus.
Emmaus soccer coach John Cari likes a good, exciting soccer game as much as the next guy. On Monday though, he thought his team made its 2-1 double overtime win against Northampton more exciting than it had to be.
The Konkrete Kids (6-2-3 EPC, 7-2-3 overall) broke through for a goal with just 2:37 left in regulation to tie the game 1-1.
Aaron Eberts fed a pinpoint pass to Russell King, who used his speed to hold off an Emmaus defender and fire a shot to the lower left side of the goal, just past goalie Alex Tomasello to tie the game.
It wasn’t the prettiest game of soccer, but Emmaus was still able to pick up a 2-0 win over Whitehall. The game was marred not only by the rain, but five yellow cards were handed out and there were two ejections from the game.
Emmaus had the upper hand through most of the first half and kept constant pressure on Zephyrs’ goalie Justin Mattison, who turned aside some big shots. Thomas Hanvey played a ball into the box perfectly for teammate Jake Groh, who beat Mattison for the first goal of the game just 10 minutes into the contest.
After a big win over Parkland, the Emmaus girls soccer team had a bit of a letdown with a 4-0 loss to Nazareth and a 2-0 loss to Whitehall. Sandwiched between the two losses was a 2-1 win over Wilson West Lawn. The Hornets quickly got things back on track and downed Easton 2-1 last week.
The Red Rovers came out firing against Emmaus with three shots on goal in the first five minutes of the game. Goalie Alexa Ryan was impenetrable and turned aside all three shots.