Indians advance in field hockey
After the success her team enjoyed playing on a grass field for the first time this season, Lehighton head field hockey coach Vanessa Rimbey might push for the banishment of turf fields.
The Indians utilized strong formations and aggressive play to upend Bethlehem Catholic in the first round of District 11 Class 1A playoffs, 3-0. The win sends them into the semifinals where they will play Moravian Academy on Monday.
As the higher seed in the bracket, Bethlehem Catholic played host to the Lehighton on its grass field.
But the change in field conditions didn’t both the Indians.
Senior Karissa Hough scored twice and Adrianna Hinkle added another goal as the Indians thrived in the victory.
“I think the girls played well today,” Rimbey said. “I think we stepped to the ball, we had some great traps, considering we were playing on grass.
“It was a lot slower than what we’ve been used to. This was our first game on grass all year, but I think we did well with it.”
With time winding down in the first half, senior Karissa Hough scored her first goal of the game to give the Indians the lead.
“It’s really exciting for us because we normally have a bye in the first round. So we’re glad we can get a win in the first round,” Hough said. “We used our space well today with our passing and we came through.”
As the second half wore on, the Indians showed their strength by consistently swiping possessions away from their opponents and getting upfield for a majority of play.
With a 13-6 edge in shots on goal and eight penalty corners, the Tribe eventually took advantage as goals by Hinkle and another by Hough secured the victory.
Fellow senior Aleah Nothstein assisted on the second of Hough’s goals.
“This is a really big accomplishment for us, so we’re really happy and excited to get through the first round,” Nothstein said.
“The girls really focused on the game plan and they did well,” Rimbey said. “I think we played very well. We had some good into space passing, good stick-to-stick, we recovered on defense, I think our formation was good. We did all the things that we’ve been working on well.”
UP NEXT ... Lehighton meets a familiar foe in Moravian Academy in the semifinals. The Indians defeated Moravian 3-2 in their final home game of regular season on Oct. 10.
CLEAN SHEET ... Goalie Angelina Romito had another strong game for the Indians, stopping all six shots she faced to record the shutout.
SEED-Y EXPLANATION ... Bethlehem Catholic (9-10) was the higher seed (the Hawks were the fourth seed, while Lehighton was the fifth seed) and got the home game even though Lehighton (11-8) had a better record, The reasoning is BC’s “strength of schedule” since it plays in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and had a majority of its wins against 3A schools.