PIAA FIELD HOCKEY: Wyoming Seminary, Valley West Preview Capsules
Wyoming Seminary (19-2-1, D2 champion) vs. Greenwood (21-1, D3 champion)
What: PIAA Class A field hockey semifinals
When: 6, tonight
Where: Central Columbia HS
How they got here: District 2 champion Wyoming Seminary shut out Bermudian Springs, 3-0, in the first round; and defeated Lehighton, 11-0, in the quarterfinals. District 3 champion Greenwood defeated Lewisburg, 2-1; and Sacred Heart, 9-1.
Moving on: Winner advances to Saturday’s state championship game at 10 a.m. at the Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. It will play District 3 runner-up Oley Valley or District 3 three-seed Newport. Loser is eliminated.
Online: Follow @CVBufano on Twitter for live updates.
Scouting report: Wyoming Seminary is about as balanced a team you will find, specifically on offense. Wake Forest commit Hannah Maxwell having an off-day? The Blue Knights can turn to Julia Christian or Iowa commit Alex Wesneski. Penn State commit Aubrey Mytych is in the fold, too, as is Northwestern commit Bari Lefkowitz. Duke-bound Kelsey Reznick may be Sem’s top player and she’s used primarily on defense — but she can score if needed, as well. ... Meanwhile, Greenwood is much more reliant on one player, Paityn Wirth. Wirth, who will be playing with Mytych next year at Penn State, has scored 48 goals this season and 180 in her career. Hailey Womer (15 goals) and Kenedy Stroup (16 assists) are also key players for the Wildcats. ... Led by goalkeeper Mia Magnotta, Sem’s defense has allowed only two goals — both against PIAA qualifier Wyoming Area — in the playoffs. ... Sem has not lost since Oct. 6, when it dropped back-to-back games against national powers Eastern (New Jersey) and Sacred Heart (Kentucky). ... Much like Sem, Greenwood also plays a difficult schedule. The Wildcats haven’t lost since a 3-2 defeat Sept. 15 at Lower Dauphin, which won the District 3 Class 3A championship. ... This is a rematch of last year’s state final, which Greenwood won, 2-1. Greenwood grabbed an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Wirth; Mytych countered with a tying goal. Greenwood’s second and winning goal happened with 43 seconds left in the first half. Greenwood’s defense did not allow Sem to score in the second half. ... Sem graduated three senior starters from last year’s team, but most of the key players are back this season and motivated by the way last year ended.
Valley West (16-3-1, D2 champion) vs. Palmyra (18-5-1, D3 runner-up)
What: PIAA Class 2A field hockey semifinals
When: 6, tonight
Where: Emmaus HS
How they got here: District 2 champion Valley West knocked out Greater Valley, 2-0, in the first round; and beat Bangor, 1-0, in the quarterfinals. District 3 runner-up Palmyra eliminated Mount St. Joseph, 1-0; and Villa Maria, 2-1 in overtime.
Moving on: Winner advances to Saturday’s state championship game at noon Saturday at the Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. It will play District 3 champion Donegal or District 3 three-seed Twin Valley. Loser is eliminated.
Online: Follow @SportsCV on Twitter for live updates.
Scouting report: Palmyra’s 2-1 overtime win against Villa Maria on Saturday denied fans a rematch of last year’s state championship game. But that might actually be a good thing for Valley West, which settled for silver medals last season after being outplayed by Villa Maria, 2-1. ... Valley West graduated about half its starting lineup from last year, but the Spartans play like they haven’t lost a step. Old Dominion recruit Rina Tsioles is one of the best players in the state; she’s a threat on offense and defense from the midfield position. Lock Haven recruit Karaline Stelma has 17 goals and is an elite scorer. Cameryn Forgash has tallied 18 goals and 14 goals; Emily Latoski has 11 assists, three of which happened in the three most recent games. ... Valley West goalkeeper Sydney Rusnock headlines a defense that hasn’t allowed a goal yet in the playoffs, as the Spartans have posted four straight shutouts in districts and states. ... In terms of mutual opponents, Valley West lost its season opener against Lower Dauphin, 3-0. Palmyra has played Lower Dauphin twice, losing 2-0 and also tying 0-0. ... Palmyra’s other losses were against Hershey (twice), Wilson and Donegal. ... In its win against Villa Maria, Palmyra received both goals from junior forward Mia Julian. Julian also scored Palmyra’s lone goal against Mount St. Joseph to start PIAAs. ... Prior to this season, Palmyra played up in Class 3A. Last year, Palmyra went 13-6-1, but failed to reach the state tournament.