SCOTT TWP. — They say three’s a charm.
But the fourth time Carey-Anne Keiper scored a three goals in a game this season may have been her most charming.
Keiper hit her hat trick by halftime Saturday, Izzy Radel finished with two goals and two assists and unbeaten Lake-Lehman leveled Lehighton, 8-0 in a PIAA Class A field hockey quarterfinal game at Central Columbia High School.
“This is my fourth. It makes it very special to me,” Keiper said of her impressively-quick hat trick in a pressure-paced state game. “It was (about) getting into open space and staying low. And the girls had nice passes.”
It was a pretty nifty way for the 18-0-1 Black Knights to enter Tuesday’s state semifinals, where they’ll meet District 3 champion Oley Valley — a 3-1 winner over Newport in another PIAA quarterfinal played Saturday.
“Our passing game was really on today,” said Lake-Lehman coach Jean Lipski, whose Black Knights last won a state championship in 2002. “And when our passing game is on, it’s just beautiful to watch. The girls really have faith in one another.
“They don’t care who scores, as long as it’s Lehman.”
Temple-bound Taylor Alba started the scoring, hitting a shot off an assist from Makayla Adams less than nine minutes into the game.
Then Keiper took over.
She scored three goals in a 19-minute span of the first half as Lehman ended all suspense by intermission.
“Carey-Anne is just very athletic, and she’s very, very quick,” Lipski said. “When she’s on, she’s unstoppable.”
It sure looked that way Saturday.
Keiper buried her first shot at the 20-minute mark of the first half, hit another goal just over eight minutes later and scored a third 73 seconds from halftime to give the Black Knights a 5-0 lead and trigger a running clock under the mercy rule.
“I’m proud of her,” Radel, who assisted on Keiper’s final two goals of the half. “Carey-Anne’s a great, great player. She gets all the tips.”
Radel got a couple scores herself, hitting the game’s third goal and then finishing offensive spree with a hard shot to the cage with 8:01 to play to set the final score.
“It’s a great feeling,” Radel said. “We haven’t made it this far since our freshman year.”
Lynea Gregory finished with a pair of assists for Lehman, Lilli Stepanski had a goal and an assist, Alba added an assist to go with her game-opening goal and Sarah Sabaluski open the second half with a goal for the Black Knights.
Meanwhile, the Lehman defense limited Lehighton to one shot.
That left the Black Knights on their way to the state semifinals, with a convincing win that could only boost their self-certainty.
“The 8-0 win is going to show other people what we are made of,” Radel said. “It’s going to put a little more intimidation on other teams.”
Lake-Lehman 8, Lehighton 0
First half — 1. LL, Taylor Alba (Makayla Adams), 21:21; 2. LL, Carey-Anne Keiper (Miranda Martin), 20:00; 3. LL, Izzy Radel (Lilli Stepanski), 16:57; 4. LL, Keiper (Lynea Gregory, Radel), 12:49; 5. LL, Keiper (Radel), 1:13. Second half — 6. LL, Sarah Sabaluski (Gregory), 28:24; 7. LL, Stepanski (Katie Roberts), 23:40; 8. LL, Radel (Alba, Madison Klopp), 8:01.
Shots — LEH 1; LL 16. Saves — LEH 8 (Michelle Bozilesky); LL 1 (Alicia Galasso). Penalty corners — LEH 1; LL 19.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @ TLPaulSokoloski