Penn-Trafford field hockey hopes to continue surge
Monday, November 4, 2019 | 9:10 PM
Penn-Trafford’s field hockey team saved its best for last.
The Warriors blanked rival Latrobe, 4-0, in the WPIAL championship Oct. 29, earning their fourth consecutive Class AA title.
Next up is a PIAA first-round playoff game against District 3’s Twin Valley (20-5) at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hempfield.
“The WPIAL title game was the best we have played this season, hands down,” P-T coach Cindy Dutt said. “We were able to focus and all get on the same page. I was thrilled with our passing game and our ability to get the ball to the net. Our defense made some key interceptions and takeaways. We worked on minimizing unforced errors and turnovers, and we were very successful.
“Overall, we have really jelled as a team. Our team motto was ‘beat with one heart.’ Our team goal was to win the WPIAL title. Now, our goal is to to play well in the state playoffs. The girls played a beautiful game against Latrobe. If they can bring that on Tuesday, Twin Valley will have a game on their hands.”
The Raiders have their opposition 122-20.
“Twin Valley is competitive with other teams in their league,” Dutt said. “They are a young team with a few senior players, so it appears they are rebuilding. They definitely know how to score. They have many scoring threats; their top four scoring leaders tallied 89 goals.”
The Warriors’ offensive catalyst is Ashley Hoffman with 36 goals and 21 assists (93 points), complemented by Kelee Lepage with 29 goals. Kendra Jones and Samantha Schlegel are next with 12 apiece.
Penn-Trafford (6-9), the No. 1 seed in District 7, might not have the offensive firepower of Twin Valley, but the Warriors, behind senior goalkeeper Sam Dougherty, know how to win.
Dougherty made five saves in the WPIAL title game and 91 this season. She has been P-T’s starting goalkeeper in all four WPIAL championship games.
“Our team goal is to go out and play 60 minutes of tough hockey,” Dutt said. “I think we have players that can run with Twin Valley. I know that the pace of play is much quicker in the East, and we are working on performing under pressure.”
Allyson Doran (two goals), Nina Bowling and Emma Little provided the scoring against Latrobe.
“This season was one of physical and emotional ups and downs,” Dutt said. “Strengthening our defensive unit was our priority. I was very pleased with their progress. We then looked to move the ball better on offense and focused on getting shots off at the top of the circle. We worked on attack from different angles.”
From any angle, the Warriors developed enough chemistry and talent to blossom into a championship squad again.
“I am very proud of this team,” Dutt said. “They have come very far this season, and it is exciting to know that, but for Sam, next year they will pick up where they left off.”
Tuesday’s winner will face the winner of the Selinsgrove-Donegal matchup in the PIAA quarterfinals.
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