PIAA Field Hockey: Wyoming Seminary Reaches Semis
WHITEHALL — Faced with yet another stellar defender trying to shut her down, junior Aubrey Mytych resorted to doing what she does best.
Mytych broke away from smothering coverage to set up the first of two goals by sophomore Alex Wesneski, and scored a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half as District 2 champion Wyoming Seminary handled District 1 runner-up New Hope-Solebury 3-1 in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals on a frigid morning on the artificial turf field at Zephyr Complex.
Wyoming Seminary will face Oley Valley, a 5-1 winner over Bermudian Springs, at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Whitehall High School.
“We were sitting on a three-goal lead, only they weren’t thinking they were sitting on a three-goal lead, so that’s what happens,” said Knights coach Karen Klassner, who has led the team to six PIAA championships. “We’re going to have to play better because the opponent we’re playing Tuesday is really good. We’re going to be playing one of the best teams in the state.”
Mytych, the Knights’ leading scorer, understands why she ends up on the high radar end of other teams.
“I’m kind of used to it,” said Mytych, who has 24 goals and 13 assists this season. “We work a lot on that in practice, me getting the ball across the circle, using the small skills on the end line.”
Mytych needed every inch and every bit of those skills after shaking loose from Claudia Koeppen, the relentless senior defender for New Hope-Solebury that stuck to Mytych at practically every turn.
With time alone on the right flank, Mytych took a long swipe from the right side to serve the ball into the center, where Wesneski converted on a big shot that beat Lions senior goalie Elsie Jones 3:59 into the opening half.
“I just made a pull,” Mytych said. “I shielded the ball to the outside of my body and I made the hit across the circle and I knew my teammates were going to be there.”
Kelsey Reznick had the original touch inside the circle on Mytych’s serve.
“We play as a team,” said Wesneski, whose two goals in the game give her eight for the playoffs, tying her with Mytych for playoff goals this season. “That’s our goal, to work the ball into open space. Even if your teammate’s not there, you need to pass the ball into open space to show them where they need to be.
“Kelsey hit a great ball from the top and I was able to get a touch on that,” Wesneski added. “Getting a touch on the shot is something we really work on.”
Wesneski’s second goal came with 5:34 remaining in the half from the left side of the cage after Camryn Litjens sent the original pass.
Mytych finally found the back of the cage on a buzzer-beating goal off an assist from Kelsey Reznick to make it 3-1 at the half.
The Knights dominated possession in the opening half with strong play from midfielders Alicia Carr and Bari Lefkowitz.
“We needed to come out strong,” Wesneski said. “It was really cold and you can’t really think about that when you’re on the field. You have to just go, go, go, and that was our mentality. From now on, it just gets harder. Like our coaches said, we’re in the middle of the mountain and we have to keep climbing.”
Sarah Wilson ended the shutout bid with 3:14 left in the game on a long high-arcing shot from the left that went over leaping goalie Mia Magnotta. Freshman Erin Firth picked up the assist.
“She didn’t move,” Klassner said of Magnotta’s positioning on the goal. “That’s all on her, to be honest. She had two other shots where she just stood and watched them go over her head, so we’ll be working with her on that.”
To be fair, Wilson ended her high school career on the score with 56 goals this season and 122 for her career.
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