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PIAA State Field Hockey – 2023: Palmyra Punches Ticket To State Championship Finals Using Strong 4th Quarter


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On Tuesday evening at Lower Dauphin Middle School, two Keystone Conference rivals squared off as the Palmyra Cougars met the Hershey Trojans for the fourth time this season. While Palmyra had won the previous three meetings, with a trip to Saturday’s PIAA State Championship game on the line, this was by far the most meaningful matchup between two of Pennsylvania’s best teams.

Hershey knew that if they were going to win, they would have to be aggressive early to beat Palmyra’s stellar defensive unit. They were able to execute their game plan, taking a 1-0 lead when Taylor Valoczki scored on an assist from Joyce Tao just 3:11 into the game. Palmyra responded, controlling the game with several shots throughout the rest of the 1st quarter. Hershey goalkeeper Kylie Mullen was up to the challenge and turned away all the Cougars throughout the rest of the quarter.

The Cougars continued to find scoring opportunities but were unable to break through. With just over three minutes left in the 1st half, those chances paid off when they were able to tie the game on a goal by Keely Bowers. That goal came off of one of the thirteen corners that Palmyra had during the 1st half. While the score at halftime was 1-1, Palmyra held a major advantage in terms of the number of scoring chances.

The 3rd quarter was a tightly played game, with both defenses causing the offenses to stall out as the game remained at midfield during the majority of the period. The anxiousness of the Palmyra faithful was rising as the final fifteen minutes would prove critical.

When Hadley Hoffsmith scored on an assist from Mal Hudson at the 6:45 mark of the 4th quarter, those fears began to melt away. Less than three minutes later, Addie Sholly would score off on an assist by Bowers to give the Cougars a 3-1 lead with 4:00 remaining. The Palmyra defense did the rest.

With the victory, Palmyra secured their spot in the 2A PIAA State Championship game for the second straight year. On Saturday, they will be in search of the 4th State Championship trophy in their 10th appearance in the Finals.

Palmyra will be matched up against Villa Maria, the District 1 champion. Villa Maria will be seeking their 5th state title, with the most recent coming in 2017. This year’s championship will take place at 1:00 pm at Cumberland Valley High School.

Game Stats


1st Quarter

11:49 – Hershey – Taylor Valoczki, assisted by Joyce Tao 0-1


2nd Quarter

3:23 – Palmyra – Keely Bowers, unassisted  1-0


4th Quarter

6:45 – Palmyra – Hadley Hoffsmith, assisted by Mallory Hudson  2-1

4:00 – Palmyra – Addie Sholly, assisted by Keely Bowers  3-1


Shots: Palmyra – 13, Hershey 5

Corners: Palmyra 16, Hershey 4

Saves:  Abby Bennett (P) – 4, Kylie Mullen (H) – 9

Defensive Save: Ann Gardner (H)


Palmyra’s State Championships: 2005, 2014, 2020, 2023?

Palmyra’s State Championship Appearances: 2005, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023


For more on Palmyra Field Hockey, check out some of our recent coverage:

PIAA State Field Hockey – 2023: Palmyra Defeats Manheim Central, Advances To State Semis

Palmyra Rolls in State Opener; ELCO’s Run Ends

Palmyra Wins District Championship; ELCO Defeats Annville, Gains State Berth

Team of the Week – Palmyra Field Hockey (Week of September 25th)

Female Athletes of the Week – Aeryn Marks & Mallory Hudson (Week of October 30th)

Female Athlete of the Week – Keely Bowers (Week of October 23rd)






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