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Bombers advance with win over MA

CENTER VALLEY - Palmerton pulled away for a 3-1 victory over Moravian Academy in the quarterfinal round of the Colonial League field hockey playoffs on Thursday at Southern Lehigh High School.

The Bombers controlled play most of the game, but needed a pair of second-half scores to pull away and advance to Monday’s semifinals.

“We like to keep a little drama, that’s what this team is all about,” Palmerton coach Megan Ledbetter said. “We like to feel out the opponent, figure out the situation we’re in, and then adapt to it.

“Tonight, we knew we were getting stopped on the right side - Moravian did a really good job of that. But our girls were talking among themselves during halftime and in between quarters, and our confidence never changed. We just kept playing our game, and eventually it paid off.”

Palmerton got on the board first when Sydney Frantz scored on an extended corner to end the first quarter.

“We’ve been on working on them very, very hard,” Ledbetter said about corners. “These girls know what they can do, and I think something that’s special about this program and this season is that we have multiple girls who are lethal at the offensive end. The girls know what to do (on corners), and they trust one another.”

Moravian answered Palmerton’s score with 6:43 left in the third quarter on a game-tying goal from Megan Dadio.

But Mackenzie Long put Palmerton up for good when she scored late in the third quarter, and then added another goal in the fourth to secure the victory.

“On my first goal that broke the tie, it was initially stopped, but I was able pull it out and push it again when it was laying right on the line. On my second goal, I just placed my stick down and (the ball) deflected off of it and went in.

“I think our team effort was really good tonight. We did a lot of communicating, and passed the ball really well.”

Palmerton was able to get multiple corners and shots on goal. Frantz created a number of opportunities for her teammates but the Bombers struggled to capitalize most of the night as Moravian Academy goalie Sarah Sabo made some incredible saves.

YOU AGAIN ... Palmerton (13-4) and Moravian Academy (8-8-1) met less than a week ago in the Bombers’ regular-season finale. The Bombers won that game, 4-2.

UP NEXT .... Palmerton advances to play Northwestern on Monday at 5 p.m. at Northern Lehigh High School in the opening game of a CL field hockey semifinal doubleheader. The Tigers received an opening round bye.

MATCHING UP WITH THE TIGERS ... Ledbetter talked about getting ready for her team’s third game with Northwestern this season after having split the two regular season games. “We already played them a couple of times, and we’ve also been watching film. We’re not looking to change too much, but at the same time, we have areas to work on. We’ll be ready. It should be a great game.”

Palmerton's Celeste Hoffman (right) pulls away from Moravian Academy defender Tori Fegley. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS