Historical year for NL
EMMAUS Northern Lehigh's head coach Jessica Frew has been a part of 15 Bulldog field hockey teams, 11 of which as head coach.
This year's team though, is a first for Frew.
The Northern Lehigh Family and Consumer Science teacher has turned this program around since stepping in to the role of head coach as the ladies have enjoyed seven winning seasons with her at the helm, with this season topping them all.
The 2013 Lady Bulldogs are currently tied with the 2007 and 2008 squads with the record for most wins in a single season by any Northern Lehigh field hockey team with 16.
This year's squad hoisted the first championship of any kind after defeating Southern Lehigh last week 1-0 to win the Colonial League Championship.
Last night Frew and her team battled the Spartans once again, but this time the District 11 Class AA title was on the line, the first time the Bulldogs ever played for a district championship. They came out on the wrong side of another 1-0 score as Southern Lehigh's Elizabeth Thom scored late in the second half with Emily Marshall assisting.
Frew talked about what her players learned from last night's championship tilt.
"Never give up," she said. "They definitely put a lot in to this game. They are definitely physically and emotionally exhausted. This was a difficult game against a difficult team, but they can take their anger and excitement and carry it over."
Despite the loss, the Lady Bulldogs play again in a PIAA Class AA play-in game against the District 4 runner up, Lewisburg, this Saturday. That match up will be the first time any Bulldog field hockey team ever played in a state tournament contest.
"I've only had one other team that has gotten close to this far," Frew said. "This team, they are friends. They have fun and it is enjoyable when you are in these types of games and have an opportunity to get a championship."
Frew's efforts don't go unnoticed as her counterpart last night, Southern Lehigh's Adrienne Searfoss, spoke highly of the team's climb to prominence in District 11.
"She has done a tremendous job," said Searfoss. "She has gotten them prepared, gotten them excited about field hockey, gotten them to be a team. You can see it. You can truly tell because they are a contender every year and a force to be reckoned with."
Frew is thrilled to be a part of this team adn excited to see what the near future holds for this group.
"They have made strides," she said. "They have set records. They got their [championship] banner. I am super proud of their performance. They are goal-driven. It's not over. In any other playoff game we have been in like this has ended in a loss here. We have an opportunity to have our presence known in the state bracket and we are going to run with it and hopefully make some waves."
Thanks to Frew and her staff, this program is on the rise and will look to improve even more. This year's team is rewriting the history books, but the rest is still unwritten.