KINGSTON — Wyoming Seminary turned in the kind of dominating performance expected as the Blue Knights returned to the District 2 final.
It’s kind of their home, as they’ve won every district championship since the tourney started in 2011.
But a fledgling Crestwood program put up the best showing yet by a Sem opponent in the district tourney. It just wasn’t enough, as Wyoming Seminary advanced with a 21-12 semifinal win Wednesday.
“We had a strong senior class last year,” Wyoming Seminary coach Catie Kersey said. “This team has really worked hard to get where it is. We struggled a little bit early, but we’re peaking at the right time.”
A well-placed timeout sparked Sem after Crestwood had closed the gap to 11-7 on the fourth of Lizzy Dessoye’s seven goals. After the stoppage, the Blue Knights went from trading scoring punches with the Comets to going for the knockout. Molly Turner, Lexi Quick (on a nice give-and-go with Madison Sweitzer), and Becca Schulman twice (one on a set-up by Madison Dowd) combined for four goals in 2:32 to break the game open.
“I think they came out of the timeout playing with more discipline,” Kersey said. “They started playing together … playing better as a team.”
Crestwood’s Daniella Callaghan broke the goal streak with a minute left in the half, but on a restart from directly in front of the goal, Sem goalie Kelly Gavin was a wall, making a save with 2 seconds remaining.
Gavin’s play proved a greater goal catalyst than the timeout. Sem came out of halftime with four straight goals, two each by Schulman and Quick. Then the Blue Knights’ goalie turned back shots by Morgan Kile, coming 1-on-1 after a Hannah Ackers outlet pass, and Callaghan, whose bounce shot was swatted away.
Seminary continued to dent the twine at the other end of the field and opened a 21-8 lead.
“It’s a team effort,” Gavin said. “When we have the lead, it revs up the entire team. It lets the defense be more aggressive.”
The defense was aggressive, at times making itself into barriers that kept the Comets from charging at Gavin’s net.
Gavin made nine saves, but most seemed to come at key times or were spectacular in nature. She turned aside a Dessoye try in the first half only to have her teammates score 22 seconds later to make it 7-2. The Blue Knights again scored in transition after her save on Kile on a Comets 3-on-2 15 minutes into the game.
The saves came during a windy sunshower, one which dislodged a portion of a tree behind one goal.
“That was actually kind of refreshing,” Gavin said of the passing storm. “We’ve played in much worse. We had one game in a blizzard.”
Schulman paced Seminary with six goals, four in the first half. Quick had five goals and an assist, while Kate Romanowski (two assists) and Turner (one assist) each had three goals in the win.
Crestwood rebounded to score the game’s final four goals, squelching the running clock, with Dessoye netting three in 2:51.
“This team never gives up,” Comets coach Russ Kile said. “This being our second year, this team has accomplished a lot. It’s a great bunch of girls.”
Notes: The Comets’ 12 goals were the most against Sem in a district playoff game. The Blue Knights are now 7-0 all-time in the district tournament, outscoring opponents 130-33 during that stretch.
Delaware Valley 14, Coughlin 13
Kaitlyn Lukashewski led the Crusaders with five goals as they lost a close one to Delaware Valley. Hailee Dumont and Kelsey Gabriele each had three goals apiece.
Dana Hunt led Delaware Valley with seven goals.
DISTRICT 2 SEMIFINALS
Wyoming Seminary 21, Crestwood 12
SCORING — CRE, Lizzy Dessoye (7g); Morgan Kile (2g, 1a); Hannah Ackers (1g); Daniella Callaghan (1g); Raegan Distasio (1g). SEM, Becca Schulman (6g); Lexi Quick (5g, 1a); Kate Romanowski (3g, 2a); Molly Turner (3g, 1a); Gabby Grossman (2g); Madison Sweitzer (1g, 1a); Brittany Williams (1g, 1a); Madison Dowd (1a); Rachel Havrylkoff (1a); Corinne Conyngham (1a).
Saves — CRE 7 (Emily Anderson); SEM 9 (Kelly Gavin).
Delaware Valley 14, Coughlin 13
SCORING — COU, Kaitlyn Lukashewski (5g, 1a); Hailee Dumont (3g); Kelsey Gabriele (3g); Kryra Castano (1g); Brigid Wood (1g). DV, Dana Hunt (7g); Kyra Boccio (2g, 1a); Emily Peters (2g); Gianna Pmpalone (1g, 3a); Kierstin Nelson (1g); Ali Haydu (1g); Sam Lutcza (1a).
Saves — COU 4 (M’Kensie Lee); DV 22 (Karen Cooper).