Sarah Oswald knows a thing or two about soccer. At halftime of the District 11 semifinals, after observing 60 minutes of play between her team and the Lady Trojans from Parkland, she predicted that the scoreless game would need just one goal to determine a winner. She was right. That goal came from Parkland in a 1-0 game that sent the Trojans on to the district championship and ended the season for Emmaus with an 11-6-2 record.
The Emmaus football team’s offense has so many playmakers that opposing defensive units are often rendered somewhere between bewildered and hopeless. The saying “you can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them” is about right.
But last week, the Green Hornets’ offense ran into an opponent that literally wiped them out.
It had been over a decade since the Emmaus girls volleyball team won a district title. Coming into last week’s finals as the top seed, the Hornets needed only to defeat the four-time defending champs in the title match.
Playing in their first district championship game since 2014 and looking to become just the second girls volleyball program to win a district title since the 1995 team, the Hornets met a tall task in rival and perennial district championship participant Parkland.
There are very few local sports programs that can even enter into a discussion about the most impressive local sports streaks of all-time when they’re compared to what is now a 30-year win streak for Emmaus field hockey in District 11 title games. Head coach Sue Butz-Stavin and her team picked up number 30 last Wednesday at Whitehall High School when they downed Easton 1-0.
As a Freedom player lay on the turf at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, Freedom had pressure on Emmaus’ goal early in the second overtime. With the player obviously injured, the referees made the call to not blow the whistle and kill the Freedom opportunity.
It was the right decision, but it turned out to have a bad result for Emmaus when Brad Turocy fired a shot past goalie Aidan Connolly to beat Emmaus 1-0 in the District 11 Championship.
The second-seeded Emmaus football team welcomes the third-seeded Easton Red Rovers in a District 11 Class 6A semifinal game at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at East Penn School District Stadium.
The Rovers are one of the most consistently successful programs in the Lehigh Valley. At times, coach Jeff Braido’s 2018 squad has struggled, suffering consecutive defeats to Freedom and Bethlehem Catholic. However Easton has won three consecutive games, including a 39-19 District 11 Class 6A quarterfinal win Nov. 2 over Northampton. At one point, during a driving rainstorm, Eason led 39-0.
Time will tell if the Emmaus girls cross country team gained wisdom at the 2018 PIAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 3 in Hershey.
Coach Kelly Bracetty’s young squad (six of the seven runners at states were underclassmen) finished with 382 points, good for 16th overall out of 19 schools in the Class 3A results. The Green Hornets’ average time was 21 minutes and 21 seconds.
“Today was a good learning experience for the girls team,” said Bracetty. “This was their first state meet for many of them. They really didn’t know what to expect at the start.”
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.
The Emmaus cross country boys and girls program had a great afternoon Oct. 24 at the District 11 Cross Country Championships held at the Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
The fairly young Emmaus girls squad, which ran a smart and spirited race collectively to finish second out of 14 schools. They had an average time of 20:40 and all of the Hornet girls runners finished in the top 32 out of 106 participants.