Wyoming Seminary Keeps D2 Title Streak Alive
WYOMING — From the first District 2 girls lacrosse tournament in 2011, Wyoming Seminary has been the class of the area.
In the early years, the Blue Knights’ march to gold was relatively unchallenged.
As time went on, new challengers arose and the gap between Sem and the field narrowed considerably. But ultimately, no one has successfully wrestled the crown away from the Blue Knights.
This year’s playoff path may have been Sem’s most difficult yet. After surviving a stern semifinal test from Lake-Lehman, the Blue Knights traveled to Wyoming Area on Friday for the Class 2A championship.
But once again, as it has every year since 2011, Sem’s reign continues.
The Blue Knights won a defensive battle, 6-4 over the Warriors, a victory made sweeter by the challenge overcome to achieve it.
“We worked so hard for this one this year. We had so much competition coming in,” added senior Maaike Reitsma. “We knew Lehman and Wyoming Area were both up there, ready to win, ready to beat us. We knew we had a lot at stake, and we knew we had to work as hard as we did.”
“As the competition gets better around here, it gets more and more important to us to keep that win streak,” junior Paige Parsons added. “To win as a team, we have a new team, a young team. It was really a building year. We progressed over the season, and it was a huge win for us and a really big accomplishment.”
The early minutes Friday were controlled by Wyoming Area. Two goals by Cassidy Orzel and one from Emma Kelleher gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead 7:29 into the game.
From there, Sem only allowed Wyoming Area one more goal the remainder of the game.
“Defense wins games,” said Sem sophomore Grace Parsons.
“Mia in goal was saving things left and right. Emily Matthews, Maaike Reitsma, we have incredible defenders and as a unit we were really locking key players down.”
Sem came in expected a defensive game and definitely got what it was looking for.
Falling into an early hole only strengthened the team’s resolve to lock down on defense which began to turn the game around.
“We got together as a team and decided this season, everything we worked so hard for wasn’t going to get thrown away,” said Reitsma. “Right after their third goal, we got one, two, three all in a row. We got ourselves together, got our heads together and we were able to come out on top.”
Once Sem’s offense got going, the fire spread quickly. The Blue Knights scored three in a 37 second span — two from Christina Kilyanek and one from Grace Parsons.
Paige Parsons added another Sem goal before halftime and Grace Parsons scored one early in the second half for a 5-3 lead.
All the while, Wyoming Area’s offense was struggling to get good loo0ks.
“Was happy to get out to a fast start, 3-0, they settled in their defense and started pressuring us different ways and we just couldn’t find an open shot,” Wyoming Area coach Carl DeLuca said. “We couldn’t find the back of the net. We got enough shots off but their goalie, got to give it to their goalie for making big saves.”
Raineri was virtually impenetrable. She allowed one more goal to Makenzie Switzer with 16:46 left that made it 5-4. But that was the last goal for the Warriors this year.
Raineri said she knew she had to be strong with the match so close and knowing each shot could mean the difference between a win and a loss.
“There was a span of time where I just wasn’t getting shot on. I was thinking in my head, ‘When it comes down here, I hope I’m not cold,’” she said. “I tried to focus on the ball itself. Not pushing my team around so much, but just being myself and zoning on the ball because I knew each goal could be the difference.”
At the other end, Wyoming Area’s Mary Kate O’Brien played a strong game in her own right, keeping the Warriors in it until the end.
“Mary Kate kept us right in the game,” DeLuca said. “I got to think this was the lowest scoring game Sem had. Mary Kate played a great game, had a great playoff year this year.”
Sem got one more from Kilyanek while playing a man down with 12:40 left in the game.
Sem ate up most of the last few minutes possessing the ball offensively. Wyoming Area’s last chance to come back ended when Raineri turned away a free position shot with 2:30 left.
“I know we are pretty strong at possessing the ball,” Raineri said. “Going in I said, if I could just get us one more save. That’s what happened, it all worked out.”
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