Like most teams, Emmaus came into the season with plans for winning a state championship. For much of the season that dream stayed alive and the team stayed right on track with gold medals in both the East Penn Conference and districts.
There was a tough awakening though in states where the Hornets went up against District 1 opponent Lower Merion and left the pitch at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown on the wrong end of a 1-0 game.
In the rubber match against the Emmaus and Parkland girls volleyball teams, neither team gave in, and several sets were decided by just a few points. One set even went well past the 25-point victory.
And the beat goes on. Make it 31 straight District 11 championships for Emmaus field hockey under head coach Sue Butz-Stavin, the winningest coach in high school field hockey history.
The Lady Hornets beat Easton 4-1 in the district finals to take home more gold and give Butz-Stavin the 969th win of her career, stretching the team record to 24-0-0 this season.
It wasn’t a historic passing night for Freedom and it wasn’t a mercy-rule victory, but it was enough to push the Patriots into the District 11 Class 6A semifinals following last week’s 42-21 win over Emmaus.
Instead of passing at will on the Hornets like Freedom did during their regular season encounter, the Pates (10-1) churned out 243 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns to eventually pull away from a feisty Emmaus (5-6) squad.
The Emmaus boys soccer team fought its way to a District 11 championship with wins over Stroudsburg in the semifinals and Whitehall in the finals. The win over Stroudsburg featured a combination of strong outings by both the offensive and defensive units, while the win over Whitehall was led primarily by the defense, which delivered shutouts in both games to get the wins to secure district gold and a trip to states.
It ended on a mid-autumn Saturday afternoon in a town made famous for chocolate. It ended after a superb regular season and a district title and only after some life lessons had been learned.
The Emmaus girls cross country team concluded a successful season with a 12th-place finish in a field of 19 schools at the PIAA Class 3A girls race last Saturday in Hershey. The Green Hornets accumulated 263 points in the race, with an average time of 20:29.
It’s often said that defense wins championships. In football, coaches talk about the defense needing to be strong as the key component of winning. In baseball, it’s all about pitching and keeping the other guys off the base paths. It’s much the same in soccer.
A good defense can make up for any potential shortcomings on offense and keep a team strong enough to win a championship. Fortunately for the Emmaus boys soccer team, there’s a solid offense helping to drive the team, but wins begin and end with the defense.
With a strong feeder system, it’s not surprising that a freshman would have a standout season for Emmaus field hockey. It’s happened before and it will likely happen again. This season, it’s happening with Rachel Herbine, who scored her 51st goal in a 4-1 win over Easton that gave Emmaus its 31st consecutive district championship.
Emmaus golfer Michelle Cox earned a state medal last week. The junior shot 5-over par for 36 holes at the two-day PIAA state championship tournament to finish fourth in the Class 3A girls field.
Cox, an three-time East Penn Conference champ and the 2019 District 11 girls champ, shot 75 in the first round and 74 the second day of competition at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York. She played in the No. 1 spot for Emmaus this season and finished the year with three postseason medal.
Cox improved in her finish at states last year when she was 12th overall.
The last time that Emmaus (19-3) and Freedom (11-10) boys soccer teams met, Emmaus beat the Patriots 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the EPC playoffs.
Freedom downed East Stroudsburg South in the first round of districts to force the rematch with Emmaus in the quarterfinals.
While Freedom played a much stronger game than in the last meeting, the Patriots were still outplayed by Emmaus, who picked up a 2-0 win to advance to the District 11 semifinals.