Girls fall to Emmaus
Whitehall’s rousing win over Northampton catapulted them into the league playoffs, guaranteeing them a shot at an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference field hockey crown.
It was a busy final week for the Zephyrs who also clinched a district playoff spot in that final stretch of games as they went 3-0 to close out the regular season. But it was their victory over the Konkrete Kids that was especially gratifying given their first encounter with their league rivals.
Northampton shut out the Zephyrs 6-0 on Sept. 16, prompting head coach Jennifer Bodnar to admit that her team needed to do some soul searching.
They avenged that loss with a 5-2 victory, earning them a spot in the EPC playoffs where they opened the tourney against Emmaus.
Bodnar said that one of the keys to victory against Northampton was that they came into the game relaxed. Having nailed down a district berth with their win against Dieruff, their confidence was brimming. They also wanted to let Northampton know that their prior meeting was uncharacteristic of a Whitehall squad.
“We wanted to send a message that this was a game that we wanted to have,” said Bodnar.
Bodnar said that the game went back and forth in the first half, but they struck for three unanswered goals in the second half for the 5-2 win.
The Zephs got three goals from Kate Bonshak, while Jenn Kromer tallied two in the win. Caitlyn Cunningham and Kassidy Cunningham each earned two assists.
They also played well defensively as goalkeeper Logan Bortz had nine saves.
Bodnar said that they played a spirited game which helped them earn a playoff berth.
“It was just a great team effort,” she said.
The win put them in the unenviable task of trying to dethrone the reigning EPC champs, Emmaus. Defeating the Green Hornets in field hockey may be most difficult assignment in scholastic sports anywhere in the country. The Zephs, who were seeded eighth, lost 7-0 to the top-seeded Hornets who once again came into the tourney undefeated.
Bodnar said that while it’s still a tough loss to stomach, she’ll take away a number of positives from the game. She said that they formulated a strategy against the Hornets and stayed true to that game plan throughout the contest. She also said that they were able to work on certain things and that also came to fruition.
“There were aspects of the game that we wanted to improve on, and I think we did that,” said Bodnar. “I was happy with the way we played.”
She said it provided a good glimpse into seeing just where they are as a team as they prepare for the district playoffs. It gave them an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, and she said the team took it as a chance to get better.
Bodnar believes that they’ll face either Easton or Liberty in the opening round of the district playoffs depending how the EPC tourney shakes out this week. She said that both teams are good and that they must be ready.