Trojans gearing up for playoffs run
Following losses to Emmaus (3-0) and Liberty (2-1) on back-to-back days last week, the Trojan field hockey team had hopes of putting that mini skid behind them on Tuesday night in their final regular season road game.
Behind an all-around game from Grace Royer (2 goals, 1 assist), Parkland (10-6-1 overall, 6-5-1 in EPC) built a quick 2-0 lead in the first half and held on for the 3-1 decision over Nazareth (8-9, 4-9). The win strengthens the team’s position for a district playoff spot set to begin after next week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Tournament.
“We usually have a hard time playing a full game,” head coach Elizabeth Millen said. “We play strong for one half and then the other half we don’t, so it always puts us in a tight position. Today [against Nazareth] we actually played a full game.”
Maya Rodgers assisted Royers’ first goal beyond the midway point of the first half. Royer returned the favor, setting up an open Brynn Lansenderfer for a goal with 2:25 to play in the opening frame.
Nazareth opened the second half with a quick strike by Ally Stitzer, but unlike the past, the Trojans didn’t let that quick change of momentum phase them.
“Usually once we get ahead, we get comfortable and complacent,” Millen said. “We get in trouble that way. It’s a lot about keeping them motivated and into the game as much as possible.”
Maddie Pope found Royer just over two minutes later for the Trojans’ commanding third goal.
After winning three of their previous four games, Tuesday’s shutout against Emmaus in a rain-shortened contest left the Trojans short of potentially handing the Hornets (16-0, 14-0) their first loss of the season.
But despite being the favorites to win the district championship once again this year, Millen wanted her team to play confident against Emmaus. And that they did.
“Everybody going against them is the underdog, so you really have nothing to lose,” Millen said. “You go in there and play your best game.
“I wanted the girls not to be afraid and to be confident in their skills, abilities and each other, and to just play their best. I think they had a wonderful game against Emmaus, and I think if we actually did play out the game we definitely would’ve scored on them”
The Trojans finish their regular season on Thursday night against Whitehall. The game begins at 7 p.m. and Senior Night festivities begin shortly before the game.