Tamaqua advanced to the District 11 girls soccer title game with a victory over Tri-Valley on Thursday.
In other district playoff action, Northwestern and Pleasant Valley both suffered setbacks in field hockey.
HEGINS - The Tamaqua girls' soccer team got back on the winning track yesterday evening at Bulldogs Stadium with a 2-0 victory over fourth-seeded Tri-Valley in the semifinals of the District 11 Tournament.
The Lady Raiders, the top-seed and defending District 11 champions, failed to get on the board in the first half despite peppering Tri-Valley goalie Kayla Romberger with an array of shots.
"I felt we had a little bit of a hangover affect from the Millersburg game in the first half," stated Tamaqua head coach Clem McCarroll.
With the score deadlocked at 0-0, the Raiders (18-1) picked up the intensity in the second half as Ali Updike finally broke through with a goal in the 56th minute off an assist from Lauren Mateyak to put Tamaqua ahead to stay.
Tri-Valley had a golden opportunity to tie it minutes later when they were awarded a penalty kick but Tamaqua goal keeper Chey Bates blocked the shot to keep the Raiders ahead and preserve the shutout.
"The save by Chey really turned the game around because if they make that shot, it becomes a whole new game," added McCarroll.
Kailee Rottet added a late goal with six minutes remaining to assure a return to the District 11 Championship Game against Minersville (a 1-0 winner in double overtime against Williams Valley in the other semifinal game).
The wins mark the fourth year in a row that Tamaqua and Minersville will battle for the District Championship.
Tamaqua outshot the Bulldogs 18-8 and held a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.
Bates was once again solid in goal with eight saves for her 13th shutout of the season, which ties the school record held by Jessica Bealer with 13 saves in season (2007).
Romberger had 16 saves in goal for Tri-Valley.
"We are thrilled to be back playing for a District Championship and we feel that we have a lot of soccer left in us," concluded McCarroll. "We're not ready for it to end yet."
BETHLEHEM - Northwestern was forced to adjust to an entirely different level of play than it was accustomed to in a District 11 Class AA quarterfinal contest with Moravian Academy.
The Tigers were unable to run their usual fast paced style of play and had a hard time adjusting to the slower surface at Moravian Academy.
With home field advantage on their side, it was the Lions who posted a 2-0 win.
"It was a much slower game today. We play an awesome game on turf because its so fast," Northwestern coach Jess Becker said. "We have struggled on Moravian Academy's field before. Not that I'm making any excuses, but it's a very slow field. Our girls are at fault because they didn't cut back to the ball hard enough.
"Moravian Academy beat us to the ball. The ball was really slow and we weren't able to adjust to make sure that we were playing our game."
It was two first period goals one by Lucy Pidcock (29:17 left) and Callie Woods (15:52 left) that pushed Moravian Academy into the district semifinals. It will play the winner of today's match-up between Lehighton and Pen Argyl.
After those two first-half goals, Tigers' keeper Sam Rex kept her team within reach grabbing a total of 10 saves on the day. But, the Tigers couldn't capitalize on any of their six shots to live on another day.
Despite the loss, Becker was happy with what happened over the course of the Tigers' 11-7-1 season.
"I'm so happy with this season," Becker said. "I saw great improvement in the team as a whole but also I saw a lot of individual accomplishments within the girls.
"They accomplished their original goal, which was to make the postseason and we did that today. We didn't make it past the first game, but we reached our goal. We're pleased with this season and are excited about the things that happened this year."
EMMAUS - Five different players scored to spark top-seeded Emmaus to a 10-1 victory over eighth-seeded Pleasant Valley in the District 11 Class AAA quarterfinals.
The Green Hornets' Allison Evans finished with a hat trick and two assists. Jessica Vaeth, Lena Phillips and Madison Blyler all added two goals. Teammate Katie Stewart chipped in with a single score.
Emmaus stung PV's defensive front with 34 shots on goal while the Bears managed to get off a mere three attempts. Maggie Patterson was able to capitalize on one of those attempts for the Bears' lone goal.
Jordan Berger (11 saves) and Hannah Bard (eight saves) split goalkeeper responsibilities in front of the Bears' net.
Emmaus (18-0-1 overall) will now face No. 5 seed Stroudsburg next Wednesday in the semifinals. The Mounties were a 1-0 winner over No. 4 seed Allen last night. Meanwhile, Pleasant Valley ends its 2009 campaign with a 10-9-2 overall record.