Manheim Central gets off to fast start, prevents Penn-Trafford from claiming 1st PIAA field hockey win

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 | 10:27 PM

During Manheim Central’s three-hour ride to its PIAA Class 2A field hockey playoff game against WPIAL champion Penn-Trafford, Baron coach Morgan Briggs talked to her team about starting fast.

Manheim Central, the District 3 fourth-place team from north of Lancaster, heeded the coach’s advice, pressuring Penn-Trafford from the start and defeating the Warriors, 4-0.

Penn-Trafford, which has won eight consecutive WPIAL Class 2A titles, is still looking for its first PIAA playoff victory. The Warriors (18-3) must wait for another year.

Senior Kiley Hosler scored two first-period goals and assisted on another in the second period as the Barons advance to the quarterfinals Saturday to face District 3 champion Palmyra, which defeated West Chester East, 7-1. Palmyra defeated Manheim Central (15-6-2) in the District 3 semifinals, 2-0.

“We’ve been coming out slowly, and the girls knew it was important to start quickly because if you lose, your season is over,” Briggs said. “We did a good job putting pressure on them and we did a good job containing No. 12 (Ava Hershberger). She’s an excellent player and will have a great career at Ohio State.”

Hosler slapped in the game-winning goal with 10:49 left in the opening period. She made it 2-0 with 2:14 left.

“They come with a lot more experience,” Penn-Trafford coach Cindy Dutt said. “They stepped up. They were faster and they outplayed us. But we were able to keep them from scoring in the second half.”

Paige Garner and Makenna Hess added goals in the second quarter to make it 4-0.

Manheim Central’s defense bottled up Hershberger and the Penn-Trafford offense. The Warriors’ lone scoring chance came with eighth minutes remaining from a corner. Hershberger’s blast from 15 yards out just missed the cage.

“The playing field is uneven,” Dutt said. “The programs out east are much more advanced. Their girls have four or five years more experience than the teams in the WPIAL. We need to get more recreation programs and coaches involved.

“This is a learning experience for my underclassmen. We have to continue to grow as a program. I’m trying to get a middle school program started, which will help.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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