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Pleasant Valley rolls in state play-in game

WILKES-BARRE - Pleasant Valley made it look easy with a 20-4 victory over Delaware Valley in a PIAA Class 3A girls lacrosse state play-in game on Friday.

Devon Bush scored a game-high five goals, while Samantha Miller and Rylee Rath added three goals each as the District 11 champion Bears improved to 23-0 on the season.

“They actually had us working on the defensive end (early),” Pleasant Valley head coach Toni Bush said. “We just had to adjust a little bit and then we were fine. They played us pretty hard. They were scrappy and didn’t make it as easy as the score indicates. It was a good game.”

Pleasant Valley scored five goals just over two minutes to start the game. Delaware Valley (8-9-1) got on the board nearly four minutes into the game, but had a tough time against the PV defense.

“We’re very communicative on defense,” Pleasant Valley’s Brianna Palmieri said. “We were running through multiple defenses today. It was a little tough at times. We pulled through. We always do ... we work well together.”

While Palmieri - who also scored a goal in the game - and the Bears’ defense was making life difficult for the Delaware Valley offense, the PV offense was having no problems lighting up the scoreboard.

“We wanted to try to balance things out today ,” coach Bush said. “Once we got up by 10, we shut Devon (Bush) down. We wanted to work people into different positions today including the draw. We’re trying to work Sam Miller into draw a little bit. We switched up some things on offense, moving people around and getting them accustomed to playing different positions.”

The victory keeps the Bears’ perfect season intact, but that’s not something the players are thinking about.

“Our season has been going amazing ... even better than we expected,” Palmieri said. “We’re just taking one step and one game at a time.

“We don’t really like to look at the past. We try to look at the future. The game ahead of us is our main focus right now. We’re not thinking about our record. We just want to think about our next practice.”

STATES ... The victory sends the Bears into the first round of the PIAA State Tournament where they will face the District 1 fifth-place team. The game will be played Tuesday, June 4 . “We’ve been very successful and it’s something we’ve been hungry for and continue to be hungry for,” Palmieri said about the state playoffs. “We’ve been working for this for so long, so it’s a great opportunity. We’re not going to waste it.”

OFFENSIVE NUMBERS ... Ten different players scored in the game for Pleasant Valley. In addition to the big games from Bush, Rath and Miller, the Bears also got two goals apiece from Olivia Iandoli and Morgan Ryals, and one each from Evelyn Vanderheyden, Gabby Kutzler, Palmieri, Sysali Banks and Alyzah Borger.