Tamaqua edges Pine Grove in overtime
Pine Grove’s Emma Shadle slides to try and block a pass intended for Katelyn Rudy of Tamaqua. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
It’s no surprise that it was Emma Kuczynski who delivered for Tamaqua in her team’s overtime win against Pine Grove on Wednesday.
Kuczynski, a senior forward, is a first team All Schuylkill League selection and has been a consistent offensive weapon for the Raiders throughout her career.
In a District 11 2A quarterfinal game at Tamaqua, Kuczynski scored both goals for Tamaqua, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Raiders to a 2-1 win over Pine Grove.
Pine Grove coach Lexi Towne conceded that Kuczynski did the most damage to her team.
“She was unstoppable tonight,” Towne said of Kuczynski.
Kuczynski got her first goal with 1:14 left in the first half on an open-field, straight-on shot that whirred past the right side of the Pine Grove goalie. She received an assist from Katelyn Rudy.
The Cardinals tied it up midway through the second half.
In the overtime period, Kuczynski got her goal just a little more than three minutes into the extra session.
Teammate Jamie Zuber passed the ball to her at about the 30. She dribbled the ball a little, then slammed it past the PG goalie’s right side to give the Raiders the win.
“I think the whole team played well,” said Tamaqua Coach Clem McCarroll. “Katelyn Rudy took some shots. She normally is not a goal scorer but she took some nice shots. Our goalie, that’s the reason she made first team all league, she made a lot of good saves. Jamie Zuber had an assist.”
The goalie is senior Baylee Reinhardt, who was credited with 12 saves. Pine Grove’s goalkeeper, McKenna Levan, had 18 saves.
For the night, Kuczynski fired 13 of Tamaqua’s 20 shots on goal. Lexi Thomas had five shots on goal.
“They all played hard,” McCarroll said of his team members. “The defenders played hard. We figured this might be our last game. We have a senior loaded team (eight starters are seniors) so If we don’t go all out, this is it. And they want to keep playing.”
Towne said her strategy for the night was putting Mikaili Donmoyer up front on offense to counter Kuczynski scoring threat. Usually Donmoyer is a defender.
“I was hoping by putting her up front we’d get goals but then we took the loss of not having her on defense,” Towne said.
Donmoyer did score Pine Grove’s only goal, a sweeping shot from the left. She had five shots on goal for the night.
In the overtime period, each team had just one shot on goal. First, Pine Grove’s Mel Love took a hard swing, but the ball went over the net. Kuczynski followed right after that with her game-winner.
Towne had a lot of praise for Tamaqua.
“I wish them well,” she said. “I like to see Schuylkill League teams make it further in the districts. They’re third in the league this season and they should have been second. They have a great coach and great players.”
NO REST ... The win puts Tamaqua in the District 11 semifinals today against Allentown Central Catholic at 3:30 p.m. at the Iron Lakes Sports Club near Schnecksville. Tamaqua is the seventh seeded team in the districts. Central Catholic is seeded second. Central had gotten a first-round bye.
RUBBER MATCH ... This was the third meeting this season between Tamaqua and Pine Grove. Tamaqua won the first game 2-0. The Cardinals won the second matchup in overtime.
INJURIES ... Tamaqua presently has two injured starters. Sophia Boyle is out for the season. Logan Hartney returned but isn’t 100 percent. Coach McCarroll said of Hartney, “She played a little bit injured, and gave it her all. She doesn’t want to stop playing.”