With two of the Colonial League’s best big men, Salisbury’s inside game was dominant at times last year.
But with graduating much of that talent, this season’s squad will feature a drastically different style of play.
Forwards Jaxson Costello (a Colonial League First Team all-star) and Ryan Slutsky (honorable mention selection) headline a group of six graduates from last year’s team that went 20-8 and qualified for the PIAA tournament.
Abby Dalton recalled four years ago, during her first trip to the state cross country meet, the “experts” that showed her the way. On Saturday, she was one of those experts in her final trip to Hershey.
Dalton placed 25th and earned the final medal of the PAA Class 3A girls race, running a time of 19:36 to pace the Hornet finishers. Dalton also provided guidance to freshman Kera Reinhard, who placed 103rd in 20:32.
It seemed as if every time Emmaus needed a stop on defense, Freedom had an answer on offense.
The host No. 3 seed Hornets trailed just 6-0 at halftime, yet it felt like much more than that. In the second half, No. 6 Freedom separated itself to pull off the upset on Friday night at Emmaus High School.
The Patriots built on that 6-0 lead with two quikc third-quarter touchdowns. Emmaus got on the scoreboard finally late in the third quarter and once more in the fourth, but Freedom advanced to the District 11 Class 6A football semifinals with a 26-15 victory.
Emmaus girls soccer head coach Sarah Oswald stressed the importance of playing a full 80 minutes of solid soccer before Monday’s game against rival Parkland. Unfortunately, a 10-minute stretch was the deciding factor against the Trojans.
Parkland broke a scoreless game in the second half with two goals in the first six minutes from Brooke Schutter. That turned out to be the deciding factor in keeping the Trojans (13-0 overall; 12-0 in EPC) unbeaten with their second win over the Hornets (8-5-1, 8-3-1) this season.
With the semifinals of the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League girls playoffs taking place Wednesday, four area teams are fighting for a chance to become champions.
Unfortunately for both Emmaus teams, their runs ended in the quarterfinal round on Monday at Lehigh University.
Lady Hornets 1, made up of seniors and a mix of freshmen and sophomores, came up a goal short against Central Catholic, 2-1. Lady Hornets 2 is comprised of mainly juniors, sprinkled in with freshmen and sophomores as well; they fell to Salisbury, Group B’s top seed, 2-0.
Several Emmaus High School graduates competed in college athletic teams during this past spring season.
Lehigh University junior Hanna Brosky was a member of the Mountain Hawks’ 4x800 meter relay team that placed second in the recent Patriot League Outdoor Championships. The foursome finished in 8:51.93. As a member of the 4x400 meter relay team, Brosky helped the Mountain Hawks to a seventh-place finish in 3:53.82. The junior nearly placed high enough in the 800-meter run to earn Lehigh team points, coming in eighth place.
Emmaus couldn’t have asked for a better start when it opened up last week’s District 11 Class 3A boys lacrosse championship with a quick 3-0 lead over top-seeded Parkland. The only thing Hornet head coach Scott Ketchum thought might have deterred his team was that the Hornets might have gotten a bit complacent.
Parkland quickly tied the game at 3-3 minutes later. And after two 30-minute weather delays in the first half, the No. 1 seeded Trojans eventually captured their first district title with a 15-9 win over Emmaus at Lehigh University last Thursday.
Parkland opened Monday’s district girls’ lacrosse semifinal game with two goals in two minutes. But Emmaus, which lost to the Trojans to end its regular season by a 14-2 final score, proved this time would be much more competitive.
Despite a hard-fought effort with a short-handed team that was missing four starters, the end result was the same.
Emmaus rallied from the early two-goal deficit and even led by a goal late in the second half. But Parkland, coming off an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship last week, had too much firepower offensively.
Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz understood how big of a challenge it would be to take down No. 2 seeded Easton last Thursday in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals.
Not only did the Hornets suffer one of their two league losses to the Red Rovers last month, Emmaus was playing without two of its top players this time around.
Offense was the focal point of their first matchup when Emmaus and Parkland combined to score 25 goals in the Hornets’ one-goal victory.
Offense was once again on full display on Monday, at least for one of those teams.
Parkland dominated from the opening whistle to avenge last month’s 13-12 defeat to their rivals. The Trojans (9-1 in EPC, 14-4 overall) scored eight goals in the first 25 minutes, took a 9-0 lead early in the second half, and closed out a 14-2 victory over Emmaus (8-2 , 13-5) at Parkland High School.