A three-game skid brought on by a rash of injuries during the regular season dropped Emmaus out of a sure number-one seed in the East Penn Conference playoffs and into the two-seed. The positioning didn’t matter to the Hornets, who cut their way through the conference bracket for a showdown against number-one Liberty.
The result was a 1-0 Emmaus win on a goal by senior A.J. Febbraro that sealed this year’s league title.
Emmaus field hockey captured its fifth straight East Penn Conference championship last week in a 3-1 win over Parkland at the Zephyr Sports Complex at Whitehall High School. Emmaus dominated much of the play, but Parkland goalkeeper Tess Garchinsky put on an impressive display to keep Emmaus from getting too far in front early on.
The Emmaus and Parkland girls soccer teams have met three times this season and the three games have been decided by just two goals.
Unfortunately for Emmaus, it came out on the short end two games while playing Parkland to a scoreless tie in the other contest.
The latest setback came in the championship game of the East Penn Conference playoffs, with the Trojans picking up a 2-1 win over the Hornets.
Emmaus wrapped up the regular season with an impressive 6-0 dismantling of previously unbeaten Parkland (15-1-1).
The Trojans had won their season opener before playing to a 2-2 tie against Pocono Mountain East in their next game. Since that point, they had won 13 straight coming into the game against Emmaus.
Rachel Herbine scored three second-half goals in the win over Parkland, which came into the game with more confidence than at any time they’ve played Emmaus in recent memory.
One might think that having a first-round opponent in the playoffs who you’ve beaten twice during the regular season would make for an easy win. That’s not always the case.
Emmaus (14-3-1) had to face Northampton (12-6-1) to open the EPC quarterfinals on Saturday. The Konkrete Kids had served notice that they were looking for some revenge against Skyline Division opponents now that the playoffs had arrived.
The Emmaus boys soccer team struggled through a rash of injuries that helped send it on a three-game losing skid late in the season.
The Hornets bounced back to win their final two regular season games and seemed to have found some of the earlier form that they had this season in a 6-0 quarterfinal round win over Freedom (10-9-0) in the East Penn Conference playoffs on Saturday.
As the rain poured down Monday night, Emmaus and Central Catholic battled through a scoreless first half of soccer. The two teams continued to battle through the second half, but Emmaus was able to put two shots through the rain and into the back of the net to gain a 2-0 win over the Vikings in the season finale for the Hornets.
The first time that Emmaus and Parkland met in girls soccer this season, the Hornets came out strong and held a 1-0 lead going to the half. In the second half, Parkland found two unanswered goals to get away with a 2-1 win.
This time around, Emmaus again came out firing, but both teams came up empty in the first half Monday night. And the second. And the first overtime. And the second overtime. The game ended in a scoreless tie, giving Parkland (14-0-1 overall, 12-0-1 EPC) the first blemish on their record this season.
Last season, the Emmaus field hockey team won 26 straight games before falling to Hershey in the state semifinals.
This season is taking much of the same course, with the Hornets going 11-0-0 to open the season and already having qualified for districts where they will attempt to make it 31 straight District 11 championships.
The Emmaus defense continued to play tough soccer Monday night in an 8-0 win over East Stroudsburg South. Emmaus now has four straight shutout wins, having scored a total of 29 goals in those games. On the season, the Hornet have held opponents to just 12 goals in 11 games.
Against the Cavaliers (2-9 overall, 2-8 EPC), the Hornets got three goals from Gianna Albanese, two of which were set up perfectly by junior Maddie Brown, who also assisted on a goal by senior Sydney Cole.