Penn-Trafford still looking for elusive 1st PIAA win after loss to Fleetwood

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | 8:34 PM

Penn-Trafford has yet to crack the win column in the PIAA field hockey playoffs, but veteran coach Cindy Dutt feels it’s coming.

Fleetwood, the District 3 fifth-place finisher, got a pair of goals from Casey Dewald and defeated Penn-Trafford, 4-0, Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.

The Warriors (16-1) are 0-7 in the PIAA playoffs. Fleetwood, which traveled 250 miles and had more than a four-hour bus ride, won its first playoff game in 10 years.

Fleetwood (19-5) scored two minutes into the game when junior Aliyah Negron found the cage.

Dewald, who has scored more than 100 career goals, notched her first goal of the game five minutes later to make it 2-0.

Fleetwood coach Joyce Angstadt said she worried about a slow start because of the long bus ride.

“We got her early enough for the girls could walk around and have a good warm-up,” Angstadt said. “We knew that Ava Hershberger was very good, she controlled the ball, and the goalie (Gwen Hershberger) was very good. We watched some film on them and saw what teams were doing so we could defend them better.”

Fleetwood’s overall experience put pressure on Penn-Trafford’s defense. The Tigers did to the Warriors what the Warriors are used to doing to their opponents.

“Gwen actually got to play a game,” Dutt said. “This was a good learning experience for the program. The girls got to see what they have to do to reach the teams in the eastern part of the state’s level.

“This team was the most prepared to compete on the state level. The girls gave it everything they had.”

Dutt said there is a wide gap of overall playing experience between squads.

“It’s tough to play the teams from the east,” Dutt said. “When you look at the years of experience and combine all the years of all of our starters and compare the years of experience with their starters, those girls start in elementary school and we start in high school. I think we’re doing better each year.”

Any hopes of a comeback by Penn-Trafford were quickly erased by Fleetwood as Dewald scored her second goal of the game early in the third quarter and Lauren Breisch scored three minutes later to make it 4-0.

Penn-Trafford managed only one shot on goal and Ava Hershberger ended the season with a school-record 38 goals.

The Warriors have won six consecutive WPIAL Class 2A titles and seven overall.

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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