LEHMAN TWP. – The Lake-Lehman field hockey team showed off its versatility in a special week.
After turning in a defensive gem while avenging losses in the last two District 2 Class AA championship games, the Black Knights put on an offensive show in the first half of their game with rival Dallas Wednesday night.
Lake-Lehman held host Crestwood to two shots and two penalty corners with a 1-0 victory Monday in a game between the last two unbeaten in Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference, ending the Comets’ WVC unbeaten streak at 50 games.
The Black Knights then put up four first-half goals in a 5-0 win over Dallas to improve to 8-0-1 and maintain their hold on the division lead.
“We played a beautiful game in the first half,” Lake-Lehman coach Jean Lipski said. “ … The passing was beautiful and meaningful. Kids were moving to the ball hard.
“Then, at halftime, I think Dallas made some adjustments and played a really solid second half.”
The Mountaineers played the Black Knights essentially on even terms throughout the half, not allowing another goal until the game’s final minute, but, by then, the damage had been done.
While the two wins on the week were in dramatically different types of games, they did have some similarities.
Penalty corner efficiency and Makayla Adams’ contributions to that were part of both wins.
Lake-Lehman scored the only goal Monday on one of its five penalty corners. The previous corner had earned the call, which set up a second chance that resulted in the game-winner.
The Black Knights converted 3 of 10 penalty corner chances Wednesday.
As the insert who starts the penalty corner plays, Adams assisted Monday’s game-winner by Sarah Sabaluski.
Once she put the ball in play, Adams got involved in the action Wednesday, scoring the first and last goals of the first half for the 4-0 lead at the break against Dallas.
Those efforts came in her first games back after suffering a knee injury that is expected to require postseason surgery for the junior midfielder and Quinnipiac University recruit.
Adams missed the Wyoming Valley West game, the team’s only tie.
“She played the whole game (Wednesday),” Lipski said. “I know that she’s uncomfortable, but she’s just a tough kid and she wants to play.”
Adams helped Lake-Lehman score four times in the final 16 minutes of the first half.
Izzy Radel helped work a rebound free on one of the corner plays and slipped the ball to Adams wide open on the left side with half the cage to shoot at.
Radel, who finished with a goal and two assists, got her goal with 9:18 left. Lynea Gregory took a shot from high on the left side of the circle and Radel, positioned the right of the goalie, redirected it.
The transition game produced another goal less than four minutes later.
Radel slipped a reverse pass through the middle of the Dallas defense to spring a break into the circle.
Carey-Anne Keiper sent a pass left-to-right across the circle and Lilli Stepanski lifted a shot for the goal.
Adams came in bounds to the left post on the corner and deflected Taylor Alba’s hard shot in for the goal with 42 seconds left.
“We knew that it was going to be a hard game,” Adams said. “Dallas is always competitive because they’re our biggest rival.
“But, we came in confident after beating Crestwood and Sem.”
Stepanski closed the scoring on a rebound of a Radel shot.
Dallas (3-5) had been giving up just 1.43 goals per game prior to running into Lake-Lehman.
Crestwood (5-1-1) was averaging 3.67 goals per game before being shut out Monday.
Taylor Alba, Hunter Kline and Taylor Cercone made up the defense and Sabaluski was a big part of the midfield assistance in helping to shut down the Comets.
“Everyone did what they had to do,” Sabaluski said. “That was good play on the part of our defense.
“Our emphasis has been on applying pressure before the circle.”
Alicia Galasso, another Quinnipiac recruit, made two saves in goal in each shutout.
Alba, Hunter Kline and Taylor Cercone formed the defense that shut down Crestwood with plenty of help from the midfield.
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