Source: Paul Sokoloski | Times LeaderHoly Redeemer’s goal that was disallowed.
WHITEHALL — Right on the verge of breaking her own school scoring record, Mayv Clune sealed a new standard with a scorching shot that turned into the game’s first goal.
Her Moravian Academy teammates followed her straight into history, too.
Clune started and ended the scoring with goals Tuesday and Moravian Academy reached its first PIAA field hockey championship game by holding Holy Redeemer without a shot in a 4-0 Class A state semifinal game at Whitehall High School.
“It’s really special,” said Clune, whose two goals broke a tie with the old Moravian Academy mark of 42 she set last season and gave her 44 on the year — after missing five games for the 24-1 Lions this season while preparing to play in England with the USA junior national field hockey team. “But my goal is not to set records. My goal is just to make the state finals and win.
“I’ve said all season, we’re in it to win it.”
That showed, as the Lions clamped down on a young Holy Redeemer team that took its first-ever state appearance all the way to the Class A semifinals, but couldn’t find a way to crack Moravian Academy’s air-tight defense.
And while the Royals defense was just as tenacious for awhile, Clune found a way to crack through, ripping a rocket just inside the left post with 11:10 remaining in the first half.
Little more than five minutes later, Sophia McWilliams scored for the Lions off a feed from Vivian Simone, and a 16-2 Holy Redeemer team that hadn’t surrendered more than two goals in any game this season was suddenly in a 2-0 hole at halftime.
“It always starts off with the first goal,” said Clune, a senior who has been committed to play field hockey for the University of Maryland since her sophomore season. “The first goal is really important. I think it sets some momentum for the rest of the game.”
Holy Redeemer’s stab at gaining some steam disappeared with the sound of a whistle.
In the final seconds of the first half, Royals sharpshooter Kayla Kruk cranked up a one-timer off a penalty corner that appeared to cut Moravian Academy’s lead in half.
But the shot was ruled to be outside the circle — goals must be scored on shots from inside the circle in field hockey — cutting Redeemer’s halftime celebration short and restoring its two-goal deficit at intermission.
“A controversial call,” Holy Redeemer coach Maura McCormick said. “They (the game officials) said it was not in the circle, when it clearly was. That was just tough.”
The Royals tried to tough it out through the final 30 minutes, but couldn’t penetrate Moravian Academy’s lockdown defense around the cage.
When Cassie Romanczuk scored for the Lions in the fourth minute of the second half, things became even more difficult for Redeemer. And Clune’s second goal, with 9:40 to play, pretty much sealed Holy Redeemer’s fate — along with a trip to the state title game for the Lions.
“Moravian’s a really great team,” McCormick said. “I think they played with a little more confidence than we had. That Mayv, she dominated it and kind of controlled the field. This was a fantastic season. I think all of the girls improved so much from when we first started to now. I think we played as well as we could, under the circumstances.”
Moravian Academy 4,
Holy Redeemer 0
First half — 1. MOR, Mayv Clune, 11:10; 2. MOR, Sophia McWilliams (Vivian Simone), 16:08. Second half — 3. MOR, Cassie Romanczuk, 26:28; 4. MOR, Clune, 9:40.
Shots — HR 0; MOR 13. Saves — HR 9 (Randie Kuhar 7, Leah Mullery, Mackenzie Savner; MOR 0 (Katie Keller). Penalty corners — HR 1; MOR 15.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski