Ellis School Three-Peats in WPIAL 1-A Field Hockey
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 | 12:41 AM
For the third straight year, the Ellis School Tigers and the Shady Side Academy Indians met in the 1A WPIAL Field Hockey Championships. And for the third straight years the Tigers came away with the gold medal, besting the Indians 3-1 at North Allegheny High School.
After a scoreless first half, things broke open in a 4:31 span of the second half with all four goals being scored. The Tigers got the game’s first goal when Angie Scheurmann took a feed from sophomore forward Leah Ewers and beat Shady Side goalkeeper Clara McCormick from the left wing inside the circle at (12:09) to put Ellis up 1-0. The goal for Scheurmann, who scored the only goal in last season’s title game, was the 22nd goal of the year for the junior forward.
But Shady Side had the answer when its leading scorer Grace Anania answered at the (15:35) mark. The junior was able to score her 18th goal of the season when she found a loose ball during an ensuing scramble after a penalty corner attempt for the Indians.
The Tigers had a reply though, and once again Ewers was at the center of it. Ewers came down the right wing and made a great pass to junior forward Olivia Simon who deposited her 18th goal of the season into the net which put Ellis in front 2-1 at (16:22).
Not to be outdone, Ewers then found her name in the goal column : 18 later, when she picked up the rebound of her own shot and slid it into the net for her 11th tally of the year.
The Tigers defense was led by sophomore defender Erica Davis, who was simply outstanding on penalty corners. Shady Side Academy has 12 corners in the game to just six for the Tigers, but the Indians were only able to muster one-goal from those opportunities largely in part to Davis as the flyer, sprinting from the end line to the ball at the top of the circle and denying the Indians any clear chances.
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Baldwin would make the two-goal lead stand up for the three-peat for Ellis School and the programs 7th field hockey title overall.
The night was even better for the Tigers senior midfielder Nyjah Cephas, who made her third consecutive start in a WPIAL Championship game and took home her third gold medal for her efforts.
The season ends again on a bitter note for Shady Side Academy. The Indians were making their sixth consecutive appearance in the WPIAL Championship Game, but Shady Side again fell short of capturing its first championship since 2013.
The Tigers move onto the PIAA Playoffs for a third straight season as the champions from District 7. The Ellis School will face District 6 champion Belleville Mennonite on Tuesday November 8th in the first round of the state playoffs.