Penn-Trafford wins fourth straight field hockey championship

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 9:41 PM

It’s hard to stay on top, but Penn-Trafford’s field hockey dynasty showed again that it can’t be toppled.

The Warriors won their fourth consecutive WPIAL Class AA championship with a 4-0 victory over Greater Latrobe on Tuesday night.

“We did amazing with the way we played tonight,” junior Allyson Doran said. “I love holding onto (our dynasty), and I believe we can keep doing it.”

Penn-Trafford junior Nina Bowling scored 11 minutes in off a rebound, and she was followed eight minutes later by Emma Little’s unassisted backhander on a restart.

The Warriors added their third goal less than one minute into the second half when Doran, the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals, found the five-hole from close range. She scored her second goal with one minute left.

Penn-Trafford (6-9) was led defensively by juniors Paige Goggin, Maria DiNapoli and Claire Tylka, who allowed one shot on goal in the first half. Senior goalie Samantha Doherty made five saves in her fourth start in a WPIAL championship game.

“This one is really special, because I know all the girls also played for me tonight,” Doherty said. “This one means a lot to me to keep it going.”

Latrobe had two odd-man breaks in the first five minutes of the game, but couldn’t get clean shots off with Penn-Trafford checking from behind.

“It’s just like last year, and I said the only way we’re winning is if we score goals,” Latrobe coach Jeff Giordan said. “Those chances were huge. It definitely changed the game early.”

Wildcats junior Lauren Jones also created three scoring opportunities late in the game, but one of her shots was wide and two more were saved by Doherty.

“All I ask them to do is just play hard,” Giordan said. “Good things happen when you get the ball moving, and we pushed but still couldn’t score. All I want to see is them play hard and have fun. We haven’t changed that zero in two years, but then again, we’ve been here two consecutive years.”

It’s the second year in a row Greater Latrobe’s championship dreams were foiled by Penn-Trafford.

Latrobe (3-11) beat Oakland Catholic, 1-0, in the first round to punch a ticket to the title game. Freshman Megan Brackney scored the game-winning goal to advance to the title game.

The Wildcats’ season was built on defense and goaltending with two keepers, juniors Marissa Novak and Gracie Blycheck, rotating in each game. They saved a combined six shots against Penn-Trafford.

Penn-Trafford will advance to the PIAA playoffs.

“It’s going to be a tough team we face,” Penn-Trafford coach Cindy Dutt said. “They grow up playing field hockey in the east. I grew up in Jersey. We’re going to prepare a defensive game like we do against Class AAA teams. We’ll play two fast forwards and hopefully we get a quick strike.”

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