First Posted: 10/30/2014
Lake-Lehman fell short of a District 2 Class AA field hockey championship when it was shut out by unbeaten Crestwood, 4-0, Wednesday night in the district championship game.
A win in the previous outing, however, turned this into a special season for the Lady Knights.
When Lake-Lehman knocked off defending state champion Wyoming Seminary on its home field, 1-0, Oct. 23, it locked up a spot in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament because the top two Class AA teams from District 2 advance.
Lake-Lehman, which won state championships in 1996 and 2002, is back in the PIAA tournament for the first time since 2005.
“They are so excited and honored to be part of a state run again,” Lake-Lehman coach Jean Lipski said prior to the district championship game.
Just getting into the state tournament from District 2 stamps a team as a threat.
Lake-Lehman reached the state quarterfinals with an opening round win in 2005 after making it as a district runner-up.
The Lady Knights lost in the district finals to Wyoming Seminary in both 2001 and 2002, but went to the state championship game both years, including losing in the 2001 rematch.
Wyoming Seminary won last year’s state championship when it lost to Crestwood in the district title game and came back to win the rematch with the state title at stake.
District 2 has dominated the state on the Class AA level, winning the last four championships and five of the last six. When Lake-Lehman claimed its first championship in 1996, it started a stretch in which District 2 has won 12 of the last 18 small school championships in the state.
The Oct. 23 semifinal win came in the first of two straight games pitting Wyoming Valley Conference divisional champions.
Korri Wandel produced her second game-winning goal of the postseason when she scored the game’s only goal off a Makayla Adams assist 3:13 into the second half.
“When I saw it in the cage, that was one of the best moments of the season,” said Wandel, who had earlier scored the overtime goal that produced a 4-3 victory over Holy Redeemer in the playoff that decided the WVC Division 3 championship.
Lake-Lehman allowed just seven shots and six penalty corners and withstood late pressure from Wyoming Seminary to post its second consecutive district tournament shutout.
“They played really well because their backs were up against the wall often,” Lipski said of her defense.
Crestwood finally broke that defense down with three goals in the second half Wednesday night.
The Comets got goals from four different players and Elizabeth Dessoye assisted on two goals after receiving penalty corner inserts.
“I think they put a lot more pressure on us and we played a lot more defense than we would have liked some times,” Crestwood coach Patsy Moratori said. “That’s a credit to their team because they did a great job putting a lot of pressure on us.”