It was a welcome sight for head coach Scott Ketcham and his Emmaus boys lacrosse team last Wednesday night. Ketcham said before the opener of the PIAA tournament that this year's squad was the most prepared team he has had in the last three years, with those two other teams also reaching states.
And the Green Hornets showed that they came in prepared. After having to scratch and claw back from deficits in the District 11 semifinals and finals, Emmaus (14-8) held a 3-2 advantage at halftime.
The matchups between Emmaus and Parkland boys lacrosse in 2015 have been hard to understand. In the two regular season games, each team held a multiple-goal early lead, and then lost the game.
Last Thursday night, it was a similar start, but different ending.
The Trojans jumped out to a four-goal lead in the first 14 minutes, and then weathered a strong, late game comeback attempt by the Green Hornets to win the East Penn Conference semifinal contest 9-8 at Andrew Leh Stadium at Nazareth Area High School.
It was a tale of two different games for the Emmaus girls lacrosse team and its rival Parkland.
In the first matchup, a 20-9 loss on April 7, the Green Hornets were right there neck-and-neck with the Trojans, just one goal down at halftime.
But last Thursday afternoon, Parkland raced out to an early 5-0 lead in the first five minutes before Emmaus could even get a shot on goal, and the early deficit was too much to overcome as the Green Hornets fell to the Trojans 12-5 at Troxell Middle School field.
Unlike the last time Parkland and Emmaus met last month, a 10-8, back-and-forth contest won by the Green Hornets, Emmaus led by four goals Monday afternoon at Orefield Middle School. But the Hornets lost it in the second half as the Trojans stormed back to win 11-6.
"Possession was the key," said head Emmaus coach Scott Ketcham. "We weren't able to possess for the better part of two and a half quarters. Even if you have a good defense, it's going to wear you down if the offense doesn't have the ball.
The Emmaus boys lacrosse team had a rough weekend in Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The Green Hornets lost two games by close scores, 11-10 to Mount Lebanon and 13-8 to North Allegheny.
They were tough losses to swallow after the long trip across the state, and a convincing win is just what they needed most.
Emmaus got that last Wednesday night in a 19-2 throttling of Liberty at Memorial Field at Emmaus High School.
Looking at the scoreboard at halftime, it showed Emmaus 6, Parkland 7. It was just a one-goal game in favor of Parkland, which was unusual for the Trojans girls lacrosse team this year. They've had most games in hand by hafltime. But this rivalry always brings out the best in both teams.
It was another typical Emmaus-Parkland boys lacrosse match. Two teams that have been at or near the top of the boys lacrosse standings for the last decade were involved in yet another memorable matchup last Wednesday night at Emmaus High School. The Trojans having won the final Lehigh Valley Conference title last year, and the Green Hornets took the District 11 championship.
The Emmaus boys basketball team had a rough end to its regular season. The Green Hornets lost two of their last three East Penn Conference games, and the only win was a tough, three-point victory against Central Catholic.
But even with a strong 2014-15 schedule, Emmaus (12-13 overall, 11-5 EPC) qualified for the league and district tournaments. And to continue with an up-and-down season, the Green Hornets fell to Allen in the first round of the EPC tournament, in what head coach Steve Yoder called "one of the worst games we've played all season."
Senior wrestler Tom Alcaro has enjoyed a stellar final season in the Emmaus wrestling program.
He had compiled a 22-1 record heading into district duals, and the Green Hornets have gone 15-7 overall this season. The won the US Navy Duals in South Carolina, and finished runners-up in the Whitehall Duals and the Saucon Valley Invitational to open up the season. Alcaro also recently won his 100th career match.
But it hasn't come easy for Alcaro to get to this point, and a lot of sweat and tears have gone into 2014-15.
The Parkland boys basketball team has dominated the East Penn Conference thus far this season. The Trojans are undefeated in the conference and have won 12 of their 13 league games by double digits.
Last Friday night at Parkland High School, Emmaus was looking to put a blemish on that league record before the Trojans showed their might and took another double digit win, 72-49.
The two teams were tied at halftime, but the Trojans heated up and outscored the Green Hornets 27-4 in the third quarter to take over the game and hold on for the victory.