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No. Lehigh advances to finals

  • Nancy Scholz/Special to the TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Erika McKay pushes the ball upfield between a pair of Moravian Academy players.
    Nancy Scholz/Special to the TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Erika McKay pushes the ball upfield between a pair of Moravian Academy players.
Published October 16. 2013 05:00PM

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP - Not even a month ago, the Northern Lehigh field hockey team came up a couple goals short in their 2-0 loss to Moravian Academy.

With the stakes a bit higher in a rematch of the two schools during Tuesday night's Colonial League semifinal game at Salisbury High School, things were certainly a little different.

Erika McKay tallied a goal and an assist, Jessica Olewine scored a goal, and goalkeeper Chelseas Harlan recorded 10 saves for the No. 3 seeded Bulldogs in their 2-0 victory over the No. 2 seeded Lions.

"It is really big, especially with the loss at the beginning of the season," McKay said. "We knew it would be a tough game, but we held our own and really did well."

An early Bulldog goal by Olewine put Northern Lehigh up 1-0 with 21:53 left to play in the first half. An initial shot by McKay was just off target, but Olewine was there for the cleanup.

"Every time that we've scored in our games, it's been momentum," Frew said. "I think the adrenaline just kicked in, and they just continued to want to score."

Both teams remained scoreless for the next 21 minutes, but with under a minute to play in the first half, the Bulldogs had other plans going into the break. McKay lined up a deep shot on goal, and her score with 45 seconds until halftime gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.

However, Frew understood there was plenty of time left in the game.

"I just told the girls, to be up 2-0 is exciting, but it's never a cushion," Frew said. "At the half, the underlying point was that it's 0-0, and you need to go out like it's 0-0, and you need to play like there's no score on the goal."

"It gave us a little cushion to lean on, and our defense was really well with stopping everything else that came their way," McKay said.

The Bulldogs' defense, including a shutout effort in goal from Harlan, helped Northern Lehigh keep the Lions scoreless, a feat that has happened only twice in conference play this season.

"I was really nervous the entire time," Harlan said. "Our defense set up a wall. They got passed it a couple of times, but I had faith in the rest of my team and knew we weren't going to let it in."

The Bulldogs will advance to the league championship game against No. 1 seed Southern Lehigh on Thursday night. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at Salisbury High School.

"They're always a tough competition for us," McKay said. "We know they're a very good team. We're going to come out strong like we did against them earlier in the season."

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