Field hockey season ends with loss to Easton
The journey for this year's Whitehall field hockey team ended on the road as they fell to the Red Rovers in the district quarterfinals.
Easton scored two goals in the first period, and then added another in the second to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Whitehall got a first half goal from Kourtney Cunningham to knot the score at 1-1. That goal was assisted by Cara Bonshak. It came between the two Red Rover tallies, the first by Paige Fackler, the second by Erica Tarsi.
Whitehall fell behind by two goals in the second when Bailey Leslie found the back of the game. They cut the lead to one when Bonshak put a shot past Red Rover goalkeeper Alex Pennington.
However, that was all they could muster against Easton, eliminating them from the AAA tourney.
Whitehall head coach Emily Repsher said that they kept the pressure on the Red Rovers throughout the contest, controlling the action for much of the game.
"We dominated, for the most part," said Repsher. "They were able to get it down in our end a couple of times, and they were successful in getting the ball in the back of the cage."
That was a bitter pill to swallow since they were very strong offensively. In fact, Repsher felt that the end result wasn't indicative of how well they played.
"We played really well," said Repsher. "The outcome didn't match our effort."
She said the Red Rovers were able to capitalize on some defensive breakdowns, paving the way for the win.
The Zephs also had to contend with first team all-conference goalkeeper Pennington who stopped nine shots. Repsher said that Pennington is a talented goalkeeper who can often be a difference maker in a game.
"She works hard," said Repsher. "It's really hard to score on her."
Still, they managed to get two past Pennington, with Whitehall relying on their on all-stars for those points. Both Kourtney Cunningham and Cara Bonshak were named to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference all-star teams, with Kourtney Cunningham getting first-team consideration, while Bonshak earned second-team honors. Additionally, Rachel Schannauer was named to the second team as well.
Repsher said that Easton was tenacious; playing a hard-nosed game that will ultimately lead to their appearance in the semis against Emmaus High School.
Whitehall advanced to the quarters by defeating Liberty High School 4-0 earlier in the week.
That game, on a raw and rainy Wednesday afternoon, featured a hat trick by Bonshak who scored the games first three goals, with Kourtney Cunningham assisting on her final tally. Kylee Cunningham ended the scoring for the Zephs on an assist by Taylor George.
"Cara [Bonshak] really came through for us," said Repsher. "It was just a great offensive day for us."
Repsher said it was a game where they clicked offensively, taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them to earn the victory.
Whitehall finished the game with 22 shots and 23 penalty corners, underscoring how dominant they were offensively against the Hurricanes. Conversely, they only allowed seven shots, with goalkeeper Kayla Nailor providing the last line of resistance in earning the shutout.
The Zephs finished the season at 12-8-1 overall and 9-4-1 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.