The postseason is just a few weeks away and it still looks as if it’s almost anything goes heading into the District 2 tournament.
Class 3A has a great battle at the top between Wyoming Valley West (9-2 WVC), Hazleton Area (7-3) and Coughlin (7-4). The Spartans have just one opponent left with a winning record — Wyoming Seminary. Hazleton Area has the toughest road left, with games against Crestwood, Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Area.
Wyoming Area also has Coughlin ahead, and the Crusaders have a matchup with Holy Redeemer to close the slate.
Coughlin has the best defense in 3A at this point, allowing 12 goals in 12 games overall this season. Three goalies split time early in the season, but M’Kensie Lee has seen the bulk of the action down the stretch. She posted consecutive shutouts against Wyoming Seminary and Dallas.
Meanwhile, the back line of Katie Colleran, Dominique Oko and Sarah Zbierski have provided veteran leadership in front of the young netminders.
Wyoming Valley West is the offensive juggernaut of 3A with 38 goals — 10 more than Coughlin and 12 above Hazleton Area.
Danielle Grega has 15 of those goals, but she’s impressed with some of the new players in the Spartans’ lineup this season. Players such as Nina Magnotta, Katie Lipski, Kaylee Caprari, Kady Gurtis, Megan Kane and Julia Usefara are seeing bigger roles.
“We’ve got really good team chemistry,” senior Grega said. “We’ve had to do a lot of adjusting (to new roles and new personnel), but the new players have played well. They are out there hustling all the time.”
The Cougars are impressive in the way coach Mary Kelly has built up the program behind the offensive depth offered by Selena Garzio and Madison Reed, among others. And also the defensive play of Lexi Henchenski and the back line has made Hazleton Area a threat every time out.
“It’s a credit to the girls on this team,” Kelly said. “Four years ago, we didn’t even have a JV team. This is a good group of girls that comes out and practices hard every day.
“We’ve got players like Hannah Plaza and the midfielders who are constantly setting up plays with good passing. And Kara Sanford has pulled us out of trouble with some big goals.”
The bottom half of the division is battling for the final two playoff spots. Lackawanna Trail (3-7-1) is in fourth, but has an awfully tough schedule left in Crestwood, Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Seminary. Honesdale (3-8) is looking to return to the district final. Delaware Valley is currently on the outside of the postseason in sixth, but the Warriors are only one game behind the Lions.
DIVISION 1-2A: The playoff teams appear set — Crestwood (11-0), Wyoming Seminary (8-2-1), Lake-Lehman (7-3-1), Holy Redeemer and Dallas (both 7-4-1), Wyoming Area (6-5) and Nanticoke (2-9). The Trojanettes’ lead over Abington Heights is two games, with the Comets still with Dallas and Crestwood on the slate.
The only remaining game where two teams battling for position will meet is Monday’s Wyoming Seminary at Wyoming Area game. Otherwise, there will be plenty of score checking going on as teams try to figure out their seeding for districts.
DIVISION 2: The big games now include Pittston Area (7-1) at Meyers (7-2) on Saturday morning. The winner has an excellent chance of earning the final playoff spot in the District 2 Class 2A tournament.
But it’s not that simple in WVC Division 2. With two full weeks of play remaining, there’s still six teams mathematically in the chase. Hanover Area (3-5-1) is sixth in the division, but after two wins and a tie in their last four games, the Hawkeyes have kept their hopes alive.
Friday’s games — Hanover Area at Tunkhannock (4-3-1) and Northwest (4-4-1) at Berwick (5-3-2) — could be eliminations.