Blue Knights Red Hot

September 20, 2018

Blue Knights Red Hot

KINGSTON — Believe the hype.

Wyoming Seminary shut out its fifth straight opponent to begin league play in Wyoming Valley Conference field hockey, as Wake Forest commit Hannah Maxwell, Penn State commit Aubrey Mytych and Iowa commit Alex Wesneski scored in Sem’s 4-0 win Wednesday against Valley West.

It was a marquee matchup — MAX Field Hockey lists Sem as the No. 1 Class A team in Pennsylvania and Valley West as No. 6 in Class 2A — with some of the nation’s top high school players on each side.

Having each won silver medals at last year’s PIAA championships, Sem (5-0 WVC) created some separation between itself and previously unbeaten Valley West (3-1).

Sem, Wyoming Area and Lake-Lehman are now the only unbeaten teams remaining in WVC Division 1.

“Yes, it puts us in the driver’s seat a little bit,” said Sem head coach Karen Klassner. “But you know what? On any given day in this league, anybody can beat anyone. You have to be on your game every single night.”

It took a little while to get going, but Sem eventually showed it was clearly the better team Wednesday night at Klassner Field.

The first 15 minutes of the game resulted in zero shots on goal for each team, much of that being a reflection of the strong defensive play between the 20-yard-lines.

Klassner said she came away from the game with an even greater appreciation for Valley West junior midfielder Rina Tsioles, a two-time Citizens’ Voice all-star and Old Dominion recruit who played up to the tall task of matching up with Duke-bound Kelsey Reznick of Sem.

However, Sem eventually beat the Valley West defense at 7:10, when a downfield give-and-go between Reznick and Mytych eventually led to Maxwell tipping in a score from the goal line to make it 1-0.

“Once we got our adrenaline going in the game, we just kept it going throughout the game and made sure everyone was in the zone,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell added another score at the first-half buzzer, putting Sem ahead 2-0.

From there, the lead was safe for the Blue Knights, who are outscoring WVC teams 34-0 through five games.

Goalkeeper Mia Magnotta made seven saves behind a defense that featured Kate Barilla, Grace Parsons and Anna Mozeleski.

“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.”

Positioned at the right post at 23:11 of the second half, Mytych found open space in the cage to make it 3-0. Wesneski slammed home a rocket about six minutes later, which made it 4-0.

Sydney Rusnock made six saves for Valley West, whose high-powered offense was unable to score despite 11 shots on goal. Karaline Stelma, Elizabeth Luff and Cameryn Forgash entered the game tied for a team-high five goals apiece.

While the Blue Knights still have most of their games in front of them, it’s a big relief to have beaten Valley West.

“I was focusing in school about the game, and I know everyone else was, too,” Maxwell said. “While JV was playing, the starters were in the locker room and there were butterflies in all of our stomachs.”

FIRST HALF: Hannah Maxwell (Sem) from Aubrey Mytych, 7:10; Maxwell (Sem) from Alex Wesneski, 0:00. SECOND HALF: Mytych (Sem) from Wesneski, 23:11; Wesneski (Sem) unassisted, 17:13.

Shots: Sem 10, VW 11. Corners: Sem 3, VW 6. Saves: Sem (Mia Magnotta) 7, VW (Sydney Rusnock) 6.

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