Remaley goal lifts Indians
bob ford/times news Lehighton's Sage Terembula (right) and Saucon Valley's Emma Smiley (9) battle for control of the ball during Thursday District 11 Class AA field hockey playoff game.
Creating scoring opportunities has not been a problem for Lehighton and Saucon Valley this season.
Converting opportunities has been another story, however.
Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the District 11 Class AA field hockey playoffs, that pattern continued.
Despite double figure shot totals for both teams, numerous outstanding scoring opportunities, and several near misses, the ball found the back of the net just one time.
That goal came early in the opening half off the stick of Gwen Remaley and resulted in a 1-0 Lehighton victory.
The Indians (10-10) now move on to the district semifinals where they will face top-seeded Moravian Academy on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Emmaus High School. Saucon Valley finishes its season at 9-10.
"I thought we had a lot of great opportunities to score today, but we just didn't capitalize," said Lehighton coach Lamar Long. "That has been the story of our season. We have created chances, we just haven't been able to consistently finish.
"But the bottom line is that we got one in and they didn't. At this time of year, all you want to do is keep advancing. It doesn't matter how many goals you score, just as long as you score one more than your opponent."
Remaley made sure the Indians did just that. Her goal came with 24:01 left in the first half when she carried the ball into the circle and blasted a hard shot into the left corner of the net.
"They got that one early goal when their girl cranked a big shot from just inside the circle," said Saucon Valley coach Phil Danaher. "Other than that, I thought we did a pretty good job.
"They have some big hitters but we did a nice job of controlling possession and keeping the ball in their end. Then, when they got loose on some breaks, [goalie] Dom [Dziadowicz] came up with some big saves."
Dziadowicz wasn't the only one coming up big in net, however, as Lehighton goalies Lauren Burrows and Kristina Schnell combined for seven saves - a number of the saves on shots from right in front of the net.
"We've played two goalies all season," said Long. "Lauren plays the first half and then Kristina plays the second half. Kristina is a senior so she is a little more experienced and that paid off late in the game when Saucon Valley was putting on pressure trying to get the tying goal."
Saucon Valley had a 12-10 edge in shots and a 9-4 advantage in corners.
"In all but one game this season we outshot our opponents," said Danaher. "But, as you can see by our record, that hasn't always translated into wins.
"We had some opportunities today but we didn't finish. That's been the theme all year. Lehighton got the early goal and then did a nice job of buckling down and keeping the ball out when we were pressuring in the second half."