The Parkland girls volleyball team hasn’t just been a frequent visitor to the state playoffs. It has been a postseason stalwart that’s put together lengthy postseason runs, including PIAA titles in 2014 and 2015.
This season’s team played its way into the state semifinals and there was a feeling of accomplishment for the Lady Tigers with only two returning starters.
In just her first year running cross country, Parkland’s Maddie Zaun nearly tasted what the PIAA cross country meet was all about. She was one place shy of earning a trip to states a season ago.
But since that moment, she mad a promise to herself to reach Hershey in her second season. She came through on that promise last weekend.
In the biggest race of her career, on the most coveted stage for high school runners, Zaun capped a junior season in impressive fashion. She ran a time of 20:13 to pace the Parkland girls runners, placing 73rd out of the Class 3A 212 participants.
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.
Parkland didn’t get off to the best start last Friday night against Whitehall. But the way the Trojan football team finished gave the rest of the Lehigh Valley a glimpse as to how difficult they might be to knock off.
Tied at 21-21 in the fourth quarter, Parkland scored the final 10 points to hand the Zephyrs a 31-21 loss on Friday night at Whitehall High School. The Trojans (6-0) rallied from two early one-touchdown deficits in the first half.
The win awarded Parkland with the traditional Joe Gerencser trophy, given to the winner of this annual rivalry game.
For 40 minutes Monday evening, Parkland was shut out against rival Emmaus. One could even argue the host Hornets edged the Trojans in possession and key chances on goal in the first half.
The final 40 minutes was a completely different story. And Parkland got a boost from a familiar source.
Even before the Parkland boys cross country team began the season, it received difficult news with a couple of unfortunate injuries. Sam Morgan has been nursing an injury since the end of August, and teammate Jacob Ringer suffered one last week.
However, without two of its top runners from a season ago, the Trojans proved just how much depth they have. Parkland placed fourth as a team despite all of the adversity, placing two runners in the top four finishers of the 39th DeSales Centaur Invitational held on Saturday.
Several Parkland High School graduates made an impact on college sports teams during the past spring season.
Sophomore Sophia Castillo appeared in seven games for the Colorado women’s lacrosse team. She tallied five goals and two assists in that span, including a 58.3 shot-on-goal percentage.
South Parkland had plenty of opportunities. It just didn’t capitalize on those chances when it needed to most during Tuesday’s Lehigh Valley Legion game.
The Trojans left the bases loaded in the first two innings, the first with just one out, without scoring a run. Salisbury took advantage of those missed opportunities. The Falcons (6-1) scored two in the bottom of the second and held on for a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Salisbury High School.
Pretty much everything tried to stop Parkland from making history last Thursday night. Not only did a fast start from Emmaus put the Trojans’ first ever district boys lacrosse championship in jeopardy, two 30-minute weather delays also threw a kink in the their plans.
But in the end, nothing could stop the top-seeded Trojans from writing history.
Neither team had much breathing room at any point of last week’s District 11 Class 3A girls lacrosse championship game. But much like the previous two meetings against Easton, Parkland had the Red Rovers’ number down the stretch.
Easton, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, got within a single goal on two occasions in the final 6:25 after Parkland had led 8-5 a little beyond the midway point of the second half. But the No. 2 seeded Trojans were able to run out the clock down the stretch for their second consecutive district crown last Wednesday at Lehigh University.