Indians top SL for District title
DAN FRANK/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Echo Bretz (white jersey) chases down the ball as a Southern Lehigh defender moves in from behind.
EMMAUS Two down. One to go.
Last week, the Lehighton field hockey team accomplished the first of its three goals by redeeming itself against Stroudsburg in the Mountain Valley Conference championship.
The second goal was achieved Saturday as Lehighton captured a District 11 Class AA championship with a dominating 5-0 victory over Southern Lehigh.
"I said at the beginning of the year, 'We want to play Stroudsburg in the MVC. We want to play Southern Lehigh in the district final,'" Hindy said about the two teams that beat Lehighton in championship games a year ago. "I wanted to play those teams and our players did too because we want to prove to them, 'Hey, last year was a fluke and this is the way it's going to be."
After failing to score a goal in a 2-0 loss to the Spartans in last year's title game, Lehighton wasted little time taking control this year.
Abby Frey put the Indians ahead less than two minutes into the game when she scored off an assist from Corrine McConville with 28:47 left in the first half. The North Carolina recruit followed with her second goal of the game on a perfect set-up from Jordyn Homyak with 13:38 left to intermission.
"Coach Hindy always tells us to picture ourselves scoring, hearing the backboard after you hit the ball and that's what I did," said Frey about giving her team a spark in the first half. "I knew it was going in right after I hit it."
While the Spartans continued to struggle to get shots on goal in the second half, Frey and her teammates had no such problem.
Sarah Keer stepped into the highlight reel with a beautiful shot from just within the circle with 14:03 left in the game. The freshman took a pass, turned around, and quickly fired a shot to the left corner of the Spartans' net to make it 3-0.
Less than five minutes later, Echo Bretz capitalized on her lone shot of the game with a goal. Frey showed she could set up goals as well as score them as she was credited with the assist on Bretz's goal.
"We were all hungry for goals," Frey said. "We wanted to score as many as we could. We just wanted to win."
No one was hungrier to score than Kelcie Smith though.
After the senior Indian just missed scoring with three minutes left in the game, she was determined to accmplish one of the goals that Lehighton had set before the game making it three straight district games where they had scored five goals in a game.
Smith eventually accomplished it off an assist from Vanessa Rimbey with :58 seconds left in the contest.
"The one before that I just missed and I was like, "I need to get this back," Smith said. "Just getting it in was an amazing feeling.
"Last year, we were pretty upset after loss to Southern Lehigh in the district final. This year we had to show them who really should have won last year."
Lehighton controlled every aspect of the game on the turf of Memorial Stadium. The Indians held a huge difference in shots (13-3) and tripled the amount of corners (9-3).
"I am proud of them," said Hindy after watching the Indians score their fourth district gold in his five years of coaching. "This was the second one of our goals.
"Now we're looking forward to the third step. We have four more games to go. Obviously, we're going to take it one game at a time. But, we're looking at the ultimate prize of a state championship."
Lehighton will begin the final phase of their "goal trilogy" on Tuesday when they open PIAA State play against Lancaster Mennonite at Whitehall in a 4 p.m. start.
"That's our ultimate goal - we want to win states," Frey stressed. "We just want to show everybody how much we worked hard for this and we just want to come out on top."