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

On Saturday, two important Field Hockey games involved three LebCo teams.  Below are quick recaps of the action, along with what’s next for the two winners.


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Palmyra 1, Northern York 0

On Saturday, Palmyra had the opportunity to play for the chance to win their 15th District 3 Championship.  They made it to this point by defeating Garden Spot, Hershey, and Manheim Central (District 3 AA Bracket). In this year’s 2A Finals held at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field, the Cougars met Northern York, the #3 seed.

The game remained a tight contest through the 1st half, with both teams unable to break through. The shot totals for each team were low, with Palmyra taking 2 and Northern only taking 1.

Thirty seconds into the 3rd quarter, Palmyra broke the tie when sophomore Jovie Weaver found the back of the cage off of an assist by junior Mallory Hudson.  Coach Kent Harshman provided high praise for the “beautiful play” that would end up being the game winning goal.

Northern poured on the pressure throughout the rest of the half, but the Palmyra defense held to keep the Polar Bears off the scoreboard.  In the four games played in the District Playoffs, this was the third shutout for the Palmyra defense.

Of the defensive effort, Harshman said, “Our defense has been OUTSTANDING throughout the District tournament!”  By the numbers, Palmyra has only conceded 5 penalty corners and 4 shots resulting in 1 goal on a penalty stroke.  The lockdown performance has been a collective effort with Abby Bennett, Addie Sholly, AJ Walker, Peyton Bean, Payton Kane, and Liv Gain each looming large on the defensive end of the field.

With the 1-0 victory, the Cougars have claimed the District 3 Championship in back-to-back years.  They will now prepare to host West Chester East in the next step towards capturing their 4th PIAA State Champions. That game will take place on Tuesday at 6:00 pm. (PIAA State Championship Bracket – AA)







ELCO 5, Annville-Cleona 1

Both ELCO and Annville-Cleona won their District 3 openers, but then lost two tough games and were matched in the 7th place in the 1A tournament (District 3 A Bracket)..  This game was high stakes, as the winner would claim the last spot in the PIAA State Championship Tournament.  The two teams had met on September 8th, with ELCO winning 3-1.  However, a lot had changed since that early season contest and there was no telling how this game might develop when the two teams took the field at ELCO High School on Saturday morning.

Halfway through the 1st quarter, ELCO’s Ayla Zwally got the scoring started with a goal assisted by Alexa Shanaman.  Two minutes later, the score was made 2-0 when Makenna Haas tallied a goal, with Kylie Brown and Kailen Hibshman assisting.

In the 2nd quarter, Annville responded with a goal by Tori Cisney that cut it down to a one goal deficit.  ELCO quickly responded with another goal of their own, thirty seconds later, with Addie Weiler connecting after being set-up by Hibshman.

At the half, ELCO held a 3-1 lead.  This score would hold through the 3rd quarter.  Early in the 4th, Weilerscored her second goal of the day.  Minutes later, Hibshman scored to give the Raiders a 5-1 advantage with 5:42 remaining.  ELCO goalkeeper Aeryn Marks made it difficult on the Dutchmen, turning away 6 of their 7 shots on goal.

With the win, ELCO clinched their first State Playoff berth since 2002 when they were knocked out by Palmyra in the 1st round. In this year’s PIAA State Championship Playoffs, they will meet Lackawanna Trail at Keystone College on Tuesday, 4:30 pm.  (PIAA State Championship Bracket – A)

With the outcome, Annville-Cleona’s season ended with an impressive 13 wins and as co-champions of Section 4 in the Lancaster Lebanon League.


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