Field hockey falls to Easton in EPC first round
Through 35 minutes of play, Parkland kept Easton’s offense in check. Despite plenty of chances on goal, the two sides remained scoreless early into the second half of their East Penn Conference girls lacrosse quarterfinals on Oct. 14.
But once Easton struck just minutes after halftime, it started a Red Rover flurry of goals that couldn’t be stopped. The Rovers (15-2) advanced to the EPC semifinals with a 4-0 victory over the Trojans (9-8-1) at Easton High School.
“It definitely did stifle us just a little bit,” said Parkland head coach Lizzie Millen of the first goal. “They all kind of looked up over at us on the bench. It’s just the maturity of our team and what we have to offer at the moment.”
After goalie Brie Barraco saved an initial Easton shot on goal, Kalah Williams was there to punch in the rebound to give Easton a 1-0 lead six minutes into the second half. It wouldn’t take long for the Rovers to pad their lead.
Not even four minutes later, Lanie Stem cleaned up a loose ball in front of Parkland’s goal to make it a 2-0 advantage.
“Definitely it was our game plan to put one on the board before them,” Millen said. “It’s just unfortunate that our lack of maturity showed today. We’re a very young team, and we couldn’t play a full game. We couldn’t finish in the second half, and that is what happens.”
As if Easton’s lead wasn’t safe enough, the Red Rovers added two more a little more than a minute apart. Ellie McIntyre first ripped a high shot past Barraco to make it a 3-0 game and Hailey Couch connected on the Red Rovers’ fourth and final goal to round out the scoring.
The game was similar to the regular season matchup between the two teams, one in which the Trojans struggled to produce solid shots on goal yet still produced two goals. This time, however, Parkland could not find the back of the net and only placed one solid shot on goal.
“It was similar to last game,” Millen said. “I think we were just able to capitalize on the few opportunities that we did have last game. This game we just didn’t.”
With some time off before districts start on Monday, Millen and the Trojans will refocus and sharpen their skills as it prepares for another postseason tournament.
“Just general play in the middle of the field,” Millen said. “I’m very confident with our defensive unit. It wasn’t our best showing [against Easton], and I think that was kind of a fluke on our part. We just need to learn how to play as a team. We need to learn how to pass instead of just trying to shove it down the gut.”
Parkland earned the No. 7 seed in districts and faced No. 2 Liberty, which lost to Emmaus and in the league title game, in Wednesday’s District 11 Class 3A quarterfinal. That game was played after Press deadline. See next week’s issue for coverage.