As the final 10 minutes of the game approached, the Emmaus field hockey team needed a spark during last week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship.
Stroudsburg was doing all it could to protect the 1-0 lead it took in the first half, but Emmaus wasn’t going to be denied.
The Hornets tied the game in the 49th minute when Kira Koehler scored with an assist from Meredith Sholder with 10:48 left to play.
Just over five minutes later, Leah Zellner scored her first of two quick goals that put Emmaus in control of the game en route to a 3-1 win.
Emmaus football head coach Harold Fairclough said during the preseason that his team’s strength would be its defense.
With the Hornets averaging over 52 points per game in their first four games, the defense hasn’t been in the spotlight much this season.
In Friday’s 50-7 win over Northampton, the green swarm showed what it could do, especially in the second half.
This year the Emmaus backfield has a 1-2 punch.
The past few years the Hornets relied almost solely on one running back to carry the load. This year, sophomores Sone Ntoh and Lubens Myers share the ball and the spotlight. They combined for six touchdowns in last week’s 62-6 win over Pocono Mountain West.
Last year’s Eastern Conference title was a nice consolation for a team that missed the district playoffs. But that prize isn’t what Hornet head coach Harold Fairclough was referring to when he made the following statement less than a week before the start of the 2016 season, his first at the helm of the Emmaus program.
Before the Hornets were finished celebrating last week’s 77-13 season opening win over Dieruff, they were already thinking about their next game.
While the players and coaching staff were happy with the win, they also saw some things their team needs to work on before it faces some of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference’s more powerful teams.
A new era in Emmaus football will begin Friday night when the Hornets visit J. Birney Crum Stadium to take on Dieruff and open the 2016 season. The team will play its first regular season game under new head coach Harold Fairclough.
The Hornets will look to build on last year’s season, which culminated with a 7-5 overall record and an Eastern Conference title.
This year’s McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star football game is set for Thursday.
Two Emmaus offensive linemen were selected to the team in Jared Romig and Eric Miller.
“Ever since I was younger I wanted to play in this game,” said Romig. “When I got first-team all-conference I knew I was going to have the opportunity to play in this game and I was very happy I was selected.”
About the only predictable thing in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference baseball season this spring was unpredictability.
Any team among the league’s top 10 could beat any other on a given day. That trend continued into the postseason as No. 9 seed Pocono Mountain East knocked off an upstart Emmaus team that had been playing its best baseball heading into the postseason.
The Cardinals won 9-4 in a game that was played over two days after a storm forced a suspension last Monday at Emmaus Community Park.
As the third-place team out of District 11, Emmaus entered Saturday’s game against District 12 runner-up Martin Luther King High School as an underdog.
Despite the Cougars’ 15-12 overall record, their reputation preceded them as they were a state semifinalist last year and play in one of the state’s strongest areas for high school basketball.
Andrew Vanim can’t change what happened at districts. He can’t get back that one dive that hurt his score and left him devastated by the fact that he failed to qualify for states.
The only thing he can do is handle the setback with class and move on from it. He appears to be doing both.
“I don’t take this as a loss,” said the Emmaus junior after finishing in third place at Saturday’s District 11 Class 3A Diving Championships. “I take this as a learning experience. It’s just that one dive. It just happened. Things happen.”