The chemistry on a team can make a big difference in how it performs on the field. Players who don’t get along well tend to look over their shoulder and are worried about the reaction of their teammates.
A team that is on the same page picks up a player who makes a mistake and players have fun going about their business. That’s not to say that they don’t care about outcomes, it’s just that they go about things in a different way.
It was an early season battle of unbeaten teams that included both of the top two boys lacrosse squads in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 when Emmaus and Easton met on a rainy field last Friday afternoon at Easton High School.
The Green Hornets (6-0 overall, 5-0 EPC) took control of the game and gave themselves some breathing room in a three-goal second quarter where they held the Rovers (5-1, 4-1) scoreless and then outscored Easton 6-3 during the final two quarters to win 11-4.
The Lady Hornets broke a two-game skid with a 7-5 win over Whitehall recently. Emmaus used a four-run third inning to take an early lead and then fought off a Zephyrs’ comeback bid after Whitehall scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Emmaus picked up a first inning run on an RBI single from Abby Bartels and then added four runs in the top of the third. A Whitehall error led to the first two runs of the inning ahead of Bartels’ two-run home run that put Emmaus up 5-0.
Saturday’s girls’ lacrosse matchup was a tale of two halves for Emmaus. Unfortunately, the Hornets dug themselves into a hole they could not fully crawl out of.
Despite Emmaus scoring the first three goals of the second half, Parkland’s lead was too much to overcome. The Trojans (4-3 overall; 3-0 in EPC) scored the next four to regain control and cruise to an 18-8 victory at Parkland High School.
Sometimes, the easiest way to describe a game like the one that Emmaus and Parkland played recently is to just look at the numbers: A combined 23 hits, nine errors, 20 walks, 18 strikeouts and three hours and 15 minutes to play.
It all resulted in a 17-11 loss for Emmaus on a cold, windy day at Church Lane Park.
“The message to the team was that we probably played the ugliest game we ever could play,” said Hornet head coach Jeremy Haas. “We played the worst game we could ever play and we still went toe-to-toe with a league favorite on a year-to-year basis.”
The Emmaus girls lacrosse team posted a 2-1 record in three nonleague games to start the season.
The Hornets beat Upper Perkiomen 14-5 on opening day, March 22. Grace Hall had four goals and a pair of assists in the win, while Taylor O’Brien added three goals and one assist. Teammates Olivia Chase, Tori Brinckman and Kaitlyn Csensits scored two goals each, while Julia Cote added the other Hornet goal.
Emmaus goal keeper Chloe Gerhard made seven saves in the win.
After a pair of 2-0 wins to open the season, the Emmaus offense has been starting to find a little bit of its groove. The Hornets downed Pottsville 5-1 in a non-conference game Saturday and found themselves in their freewheeling offensive game of the year in a 9-8 win over Whitehall Monday.
Emmaus boys tennis head coach Brian Bleam likes slogans and likes to issue challenges.
One of those slogans is “become the best version of yourself.” After eight matches this season you could say his team is doing just that, with a solid 7-1 record.
“We’ve definitely played well,” says Bleam. “But we have some tougher matches coming up where we will need to be at our best.”
The challenge is to step up their games as the upcoming scheduled includes dates against some solid competition.
Rome was not built in a day.
That is kind of the type of motto that the Emmaus boys volleyball team may have used to open its 2019 regular season. It took five sets to win the season-opening match against Liberty two weeks ago, after a 2018 campaign that saw the Green Hornets win every Eastern Pennsylvania Conference match via a 3-0 sweep.
But Emmaus has seemed to find itself, winning its next two matches in three sets, and did so again at rival Parkland Monday night, defeating the Trojans 3-0 by scores of 25-20, 25-15 and 25-23.
Sports are changing, especially at the professional level where new things are being introduced into just about every sport. In the college ranks, the changes are there, but not on as much of a wholesale basis. In high school, there hasn’t really been much new other than adding extra classifications.
A few years ago, Emmaus swimming coach Tim O’Connor added some new tricks to his arsenal of training his swimmers, including working with nutritionists and a sports psychologist.