It’s hard to believe, but the regular season is almost over for high school tennis.
Parkland has just three matches remaining after beating rival Emmaus 7-0 on Tuesday at Emmaus High School. The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament begins next Thursday and with a 9-3 record, Parkland is looking to play a big role in the postseason.
Any team going into Memorial Field to play Emmaus in field hockey knows that it has a tough task ahead. The Hornets are two-time defending state champions, they’ve won 63 straight games and coming into their meeting with Parkland had outscored their opponents 64-0 this season.
For a while Tuesday night, it looked like Parkland was going to pick up an easy win over Easton when the Trojans jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
As it turned out, that was part of the problem that led to Easton mounting a second-half comeback. Parkland eventually put the game away on a goal by Ava Hanna with just 45 seconds left to pick up a 4-2 win.
While Josh Kiser has taken the early lead as a goal scorer for Parkland, three other players have tallied multiple goals this season a total of 11 different players putting the ball in the net for the Trojans. On Monday, Dawson Berger led the scoring with two goals as Parkland downed Whitehall 5-0 to win its fourth straight game without a loss.
After a six-game winning streak put the Lehigh Valley IronPigs into the playoffs, a seventh straight win gave them a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five divisional series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Unfortunately, that was their last win of the season as the RailRiders went on to take the next three games to advance to the Governor’s Cup Finals in the International League.
The Pigs weren’t helped by what a video replay showed to be a bad call in game four of the series.
Many successful coaches are known for their fiery, impassioned half-time speeches. Other successful coaches know when to back off and let their players take over. That’s exactly what Al Haddad did with his team after a lackluster first half against Northampton (2-2, 3-2).
While the Lady Trojans held a 2-0 lead, there were problems with how the team was playing and Haddad let the players figure that out for themselves at the break. The result was a 7-0 win over the Konkrete Kids.
For a team with a lot of young players on the front line, the Parkland field hockey team came out on fire in its season opener, downing Pocono Mountain West 9-0.
The front group of young players kept pressure on the Panthers throughout the game with freshman Aubrey Semler leading the way with three goals.
Fellow freshman Ashley Young also scored a goal, while sophomores Sierra Marstellar, Maddie Molchany, Olivia Vaccari and Ana Yeager also scored in the game, with Marstellar scoring twice.
It’s been a long time since a Parkland tennis team has started the season 1-2. So long in fact that coach Michael Hingston isn’t even sure when it was, but it definitely hasn’t been in the last 10 years. After all, the Trojans had not had a losing season since 1978, and in most of the years since, they’ve barely lost more than two or three matches a year.
Coming into the season, Tom Eshelman was a good pitching prospect for the Phillies, but he was overshadowed by pitchers like Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson and Nick Pivetta.
For pitcher Jose Taveras, he was among the group of top pitching prospects, but he was in the lower levels of the minors and thought to be at least a couple, if not three years away from reaching the majors.
Things changed for both pitchers in 2017. Eshelman is now among the elite group of pitching prospects, while Taveras moved through the organization at a pace faster than anyone expected.
The Hellertown Royals took the first two games of their BML semifinal series game against the Iron Financial Orioles, putting them in a commanding position in the best-of-five series. Before game three, Hellertown manager Bob Zerfass talked about a playoff series years ago when he was part of a team down 2-0 that knew it needed just one win to catapult it to a win in the series, and told his team to stay ready because the Orioles would be looking for a catapult of their own, and found it with a 7-6 win in game three.