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bob ford/times news Pleasant Valley Alex DiMarco (right) and Lehighton's Carissa Servin chase after a loose ball.
STROUDSBURG The match up between Lehighton and Pleasant Valley in the Mountain Valley Conference field hockey semifinals was much different than their meeting a month ago.
The contest between the two teams a month ago was a 1-0 victory in favor of Pleasant Valley. That contest was slow paced and full of a lot of passing.
The contest last night was everything you would expect out of a Mountain Valley Conference semifinal match up.
The field seemed to be much more wide open and there was a ton of room for each team to run up and down the field.
Gwen Remaley of Lehighton started the scoring at the 18:24 mark in the first half. However, this would be the Indians' only goal of the game as they fell to Pleasant Valley, 3-1.
The momentum was slightly in favor of Lehighton until just less than ten minutes left in the first half when Bears' head coach Jessica Frantz took a timeout.
"I told the girls they needed to understand that this is a post season game. I told them they had to play to their potential and put the ball in the cage," Frantz said.
About a minute later, Abby Roselli of Pleasant Valley scored thanks to a great pass from Alex DiMarco.
Melissa Russo added another goal for Pleasant Valley at the 4:29 mark on an assist from Johnny Schmid.
"We actually changed our formation in the middle of the game to adapt the way Lehighton was playing. The change of formation gave us a little more space to play with," Frantz said.
A Lehighton defender picked up a yellow card around the 16-minute mark in the second half.
One minute later, Pleasant Valley was able to cash in on the advantage, as Melissa Russo scored her second goal of the evening.
Russo was impressive all evening long.
"Melissa always shows a ton of heart and hustle. She's a true leader who is always doing everything in her power to help the team be successful," Frantz said.
Pleasant Valley seemed to have a "bend but don't break" mentality on defense. Lehighton was able to move the ball, but was held to just two shots on goal. Pleasant Valley on the other hand totaled 11 shots on the evening.
"I tried to change our style of play this year. It was successful, but sometimes our girls went back to what they were comfortable with. We had our ups and downs this year but it was successful in my eyes," said Lehighton head coach Lamar Long, whose team will play in the District 11 Class AA tournament next week.
Meanwhile, Pleasant Valley will face unbeaten Stroudsburg for the MVC championship on Thursday at East Stroudsburg South at 7:10 p.m.
"We will enjoy this victory for about five minutes," said Frantz. "Then we need to start preparing for our next game."