The Games That Shaped The Blue Knights’ Season

November 17, 2018

The Games That Shaped The Blue Knights’ Season

In the long run, Wyoming Seminary’s 2018 season will be remembered by what happens today.

Either the Blue Knights win the Wyoming Valley Conference’s 15th PIAA field hockey championship, or they don’t.

Either the Blue Knights successfully crash the District 3 party and deny that league all three state championships, or they don’t.

The Blue Knights’ Class A title match 3 p.m. today against District 3 three-seed Newport kicks off a triple-header of state championships at Whitehall High School, followed by District 3 champion Donegal vs. District 3 runner-up Palmyra for the Class 2A crown at 5 p.m., and then District 3 champion Lower Dauphin vs. District 3 four-seed Hershey at 7 p.m. in Class 3A.

“We’ve beaten some good teams to get here,” said head coach Karen Klassner.

The long, winding road Wyoming Seminary took to get back to the state final is a story in itself, one that should also be remembered for shaping this season and molding the Blue Knights into state finalists.

Here’s a look back at some of the Blue Knights’ most memorable games this season:

Wednesday, Sept. 19 WVC regular season Wyoming Seminary 4, Valley West 0

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Blue Knights. After seeing this game, it was easy for anyone to believe it.

Fans packed into Klassner Field, where Kingston’s two top-ranked rivals — Sem No. 6 in the state, Valley West No. 16, according to MAX Field Hockey — played in a battle of unbeatens.

Hannah Maxwell scored the first goal with 7:10 left in the first half, and then she scored again at the halftime buzzer for a 2-0 lead.

Aubrey Mytych and Alex Wesneski added goals in the second half, while Mia Magnotta had seven saves and shut out the Spartans, who went on to win the District 2 Class 2A title.

“I cannot name anyone on our team that did not play well tonight,” Klassner said. “Everybody played well — and we knew we needed to against Valley West.”

Saturday, Oct. 6

Non-conference double-header

Eastern (New Jersey) 3, Wyoming Seminary 2 (OT)

Sacred Heart (Kentucky) 1, Wyoming Seminary 0

Who knew a pair of close losses could be so encouraging?

The Blue Knights hosted two national powers and played them both close, setting up deep state playoff runs for all three teams.

Wednesday, Oct. 17

WVC regular season finale

Wyoming Seminary 0, Wyoming Area 0

This game at the Atlas Complex was when Wyoming Seminary’s shield of armor started to crack.

The Blue Knights entered with a 12-0 record in league play, ready to begin the district playoffs as a No. 1 seed.

Then, the upstart Wyoming Area Warriors gave Sem all it could handle, which led to some critical comments afterward by Klassner.

“We have to start scoring,” Klassner said after the Blue Knights tallied 15 shots without a goal. “If we don’t start scoring, we’re not going to be long in the state tournament. We had a lot of opportunities. We’ve got to put the ball in the cage and if we don’t put the ball in the cage, we’re going to be short-lived in states, to be honest with you.”

Tuesday, Oct. 30

District 2 championship

Wyoming Seminary 3, Wyoming Area 2

Two weeks after tying with Wyoming Area, the teams met again as the top seeds in the district final.

Once again, Wyoming Area played an excellent game that was tied 1-1 and 2-2.

“Wyoming Area played a very, very good game,” Wesneski said. “When we scored, they were able to come right back and they didn’t give up.”

But, with 8:15 to play, the Blue Knights capitalized on a penalty corner that was passed from Julia Christian to Elisabeth Seyfarth to Kelsey Reznick, who buried the game-winner.

Sem successfully played keepaway down the stretch to seal the team’s second straight district title win.

Saturday, Nov. 10

PIAA quarterfinals

Wyoming Seminary 11, Lehighton 0

Ever since the scoreless tie against Wyoming Area, Sem’s offense has stepped it up a notch — many notches, actually.

It all culminated with 11 goals — a state record for the Class A playoffs — against a clearly overmatched District 11 champion Lehighton team.

“I definitely thought something just kind of clicked today, which is perfect timing,” said Maxwell, who scored four goals all in the first half. “The other team called a timeout in the first half and our coaches said, ‘This is the best you’ve played as a team since Eastern.’ We totally agreed.”

Tuesday, Nov. 13

PIAA semifinals

Wyoming Seminary 4, Greenwood 0

Last year, Greenwood sent Sem into the offseason with a bad taste in its mouth after the Wildcats upset the Blue Knights, 2-1, in the state final.

This year, Sem returned the favor in the state semifinals.

“I think we definitely had a different attitude going into this game,” Magnotta said. “We wanted to focus on the team aspect and just keep our heads on straight. I think we definitely succeeded at that.”

The Blue Knights won their second straight game at Central Columbia High School, where Anna Mozeleski, Christian, Wesneski and Maxwell scored a goal apiece, and the Blue Knights showed as much teamwork as Klassner could have ever hoped.

Contact the writer: mbufano@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2060; @CVBufano on Twitter

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