While Emmaus and Parkland have both put together strong seasons in field hockey, the programs have come from very different places to get to where they are right now.
Emmaus has been constant under veteran head coach Sue Butz-Stavin, who is the winningest high school field hockey coach in the country. The Hornets have won 30 straight District 11 championships and look to make it 31 after going through the regular season undefeated.
The Parkland field hockey team fought through every game this season and came to its penultimate East Penn Conference game of the season with just one lone tie as a blemish on its record. Coming into Tuesday night’s matchup with perennial power Emmaus, the Trojans 13 wins were the most in a season for them since 2010 when they also won 13 regular season games.
The Parkland girls soccer team hosted a tough Governor Mifflin team this past Saturday and was able to pick up a 3-0 win to stretch its season win streak to 14 games. The problem was that the nonconference game left Parkland without its first- and second-string goalkeepers who both suffered injuries in the win. Starter Zia Reed went down early in the game when she took a knee to the back and backup Teresa Gonzalez took over and made it to the final minutes before she too went down with an injury. Gonzalez finished out the game, but was unable to go against Emmaus on Monday night.
And the beat goes on.
Parkland field hockey extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games Tuesday night with a 3-0 win over Northampton. While the three-goal victory may sound kind of easy, it was anything but easy.
While Parkland had an early edge in controlling play, Northampton regrouped and came out playing a much crisper and more physical game from midway through the first half until the final horn.
It’s hard to believe that the second game of the season can have a playoff feel to it, but when it’s part of the Parkland and Emmaus rivalry, it’s much easier to believe. With filled bleachers and a raucous atmosphere, the two teams met for the first time this season and played fiercely until Parkland was able to leave the field with a key 3-2 win.
The Parkland field hockey team was able to ease into the season with its first game being at home against Pocono Mountain West.
The Lady Trojans showed themselves to be a superior team and opened the season with a convincing 10-0 win, getting goals from eight different players in the game.
In all, Parkland managed to get 70 shots on goal and 22 corners against Pocono Mountain West. While the number of shots was great to see, Trojan head coach Lizzie Millen did find one area that she would like to see her players improve upon.
It is a matchup that the Parkland football team has had circled on its calendar for almost a year. Friday night, the Trojans square up against Freedom, the defending District 11 Class 6A champions, and the only team other than Parkland to win the district title since 2011.
The Trojans (2-0 overall, 1-0 EPC South Division) scored just 14 points last week and were a fingertip away from dropping the contest with the Vikings as a pass into the end zone went through the hands of a Central receiver as time expired in a 14-8 Parkland win last Friday night.
Parkland field hockey finished last season with a 10-8 record in head coach Lizzy Millen’s fifth season.
The record was good enough to get into both the East Penn Conference playoffs and the District 11 tournament, but unfortunately, the Lady Trojans had the misfortune of facing juggernaut Emmaus in the first round of both the conference playoffs and districts, exiting early in both.
In fact, Parkland had to face Emmaus three straight games after wrapping up the regular season against the Hornets.
All season long, the stated goal for the South Parkland American Legion baseball team was a state championship.
The Trojans run took them through an undefeated regular season and then through regionals to claim the Region 2 title with a win over a Souderton team comprised primarily of players who were on the PIAA championship team from Souderton High School.
If you were concerned about South Parkland’s loss to Souderton last Tuesday in the Regional 2 American Legion baseball playoffs, your fears were set aside one night later when the Trojans met up with the same Souderton team in a winner-take-all championship.
True to form, it was all about the pitching for South Parkland, which rode the arm of Adam Smith to a 3-0 win over Souderton, gaining a trip to states for the 24-1 Trojans.