EMMAUS -- As the final minutes elapsed, Wyoming Seminary coach Karen Klasser summoned some new players onto the field, and had some of her starters stand close by to the sideline to see the rarest of sights -- a state tournament loss by Sem.
With less than 30 seconds remaining, Klassner went along the sideline to the midfield stripe and called over her counterpart.
Maurene, Maurene, she called to Villa Maria coach Maurene Polley. The two coaches -- both friends and hall of famers with 500-plus wins and both cancer survivors -- shook hands, chatted and embraced just before the final whistle and history.
Wyoming Seminary (14-7-1) lost for the first time in 18 state playoff games, falling 5-1 to District 1 champion Villa Maria (21-1) on Saturday at Emmaus High School. It ended a streak which started Nov. 7, 2006, when some of the Blue Knights were still in third grade.
It was just to give her time to celebrate with her team, Klassner said of the exchange with Polley. We didn't show up to play. Right from the first whistle, they showed intensity and we didn't. You can make excuses, but we didn't play.
It's been too many years, Polley said of the losses to Sem. We broke the (state 3A power) Emmaus curse, now this curse, too.
A smart pass by Molly Turner started Sem's scoring play in the first half. From the right sideline about 30 yards from the goal, Turner sent a smart pass into the midfield to Kristen Mericle. Just outside the 25-yard line, Mericle played the ball hard at Hurricanes goalie Erika Miller.
The sophomore misread the play and laid out to stop what she thought was a shot on goal. She dove to her left and batted at the ball, but sent it to an unmarked Alexis Quick. The Sem sophomore pounced on the ball and sent it into the open net for her seventh goal of the season -- her second in two state playoff games.
But facing the Hurricanes, a team which has surrendered three of the Blue Knights' 17 straight wins, was a tough task on this day. The team which lost to Sem in last year's state final converted three of its nine penalty corners -- all by Meghan Murphy -- who missed the state final last year due to injury.
We didn't talk revenge, Polley said of her team's approach to ending its losing streak to Sem. We didn't want to focus on a negative so we didn't dwell on it. But I can't say they didn't think about it.
Megan Parsons had the game of her life, posting three assists and scoring the winning goal on a rush of the right wing in transition. She took a lead pass from Alex Ostoich and was able to beat Blue Knights goalie Hannah Dressler for a 2-1 with 5:14 to play in the first half.
We knew 15 (Murphy) took all their shots on corners, Klassner said. We knew 5 (Parsons) was their leading scorer. No excuses. We didn't perform well.
Villa Maria took over the game in the second half, tacking on three goals and keeping Sem without a shot over the final 37 minutes.
Six seniors finished their high school careers. Goalies Cheyenne Kimble and Dressler, Mericle, Emily Granger, Devin Holmes and Marra Wagner all leave with two state titles and three trips to the state tournament.
First half: 1. VIL, Megahn Murphy (Megan Parsons), 13:23; 2. SEM, Alexis Quick (Kristen Mericle), 9:10; 3. VIL, Parsons (Alex Ostoich), 5:14. Second half: 4. VIL, Murphy (Parsons), 21:22; 5. VIL, Murphy (Parsons), 14:39; 6. VIL, Morgan Bosken, 1:31.
Shots: VIL 11, SEM 2. Saves: VIL 1 (Erika Miller), SEM 4 (Hannah Dressler). Corners: VIL 9, SEM 5.
|Wyoming Seminary's record state tournament winning streak ended at 17 after Villa Maria finally defeated the Blue Knights. During the unprecedented run, Wyoming Seminary won Class 2A state field hockey championships in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.|
|Nov. 7||Crestwood HS||Oley Valley (3-5)||2-1|
|Nov. 11||Emmaus HS||Brandywine Hts. (3-3)||3-1|
|Nov. 14||Bloomsburg U.||Selinsgrove (4-1)||3-1|
|Nov. 18||Crum Stadium||Upper Perkiomen (1-1)||1-0|
|Nov. 4||Crestwood HS||Donegal (3-3)||5-2|
|Nov. 8||Pleasant Valley||Southern Lehigh (11-1)||3-0|
|Nov. 11||Emmaus HS||Villa Maria (1-1)||4-0|
|Nov. 15||Zephyr Complex||Merion Mercy (1-3)||3-2|
|Nov. 9||Milton Hershey||Donegal (3-2)||4-3|
|Nov. 13||Emmaus HS||Villa Maria (1-1)||4-2|
|Nov. 16||Valley West||Crestwood (2-1)||2-1|
|Nov. 20||Zephyr Complex||Lehighton (11-1)||5-0|
|Nov. 8||Valley West||Donegal (3-4)||3-2|
|Nov. 12||Emmaus HS||Southern Lehigh (11-1)||3-0|
|Nov. 15||Emmaus HS||Palmyra (3-1)||2-1|
|Nov. 19||Zephyr Complex||Villa Maria (1-1)||3-2|
|Nov. 6||Zephyr Complex||Southern Lehigh (11-1)||2-1 PS|