It probably took longer than everyone on Wyoming Area’s side would have liked, but the Warriors finally broke into the win column.
Playing their second overtime game in as many starts, Wyoming Area netted the only goal of the contest nearly nine minutes into the extra frame to defeat Nanticoke 1-0 on Tuesday in Wyoming Valley Conference field hockey.
“We’re young up front, but experienced in back. Once our young ones gain some experience …,” Warriors coach Lunda Comisky said of the additional early-schedule seasoning. “This will just spill into when they get into crunch time later in the season.”
WA overcame a shorthanded situation in the overtime to maintain pressure on the Nanticoke goal. Emily Wanko fired a shot from about 10 yards out that was stopped by Trojanettes goalkeeper Maddy O’Donahue, but the ball was played back out to Abby Schwerdtman at the top of the circle.
Schwerdtman took two steps and drove the ball into the goal for her first tally of the season and the win.
The game was eerily similar to a season ago, when Nanticoke stunned the district semifinalists 1-0 despite WA holding a statistical advantage. The Trojanettes didn’t post a shot or penalty corner, but forced the game into overtime with a defensive wall across the back line and a mountain in goal in O’Donahue.
The junior posted 22 saves, with 13 coming in the second half as the Warriors put on their best pressure of the game.
“Sam Garvey played a big game,” Nanticoke coach Lori Dennis said while complimenting her defense, including Kayla Gronkowski, Becca Morgis, Megan Matthews and Jennifer Lopez. “Kara (Voyton) was on fire. You can’t count these girls out. They’re tough as nails.”
The Warriors controlled play in the first half, with Bree Bednarski and Jillian Spak ringing shots off the post. They turned up the heat after halftime, posting 15 shots — many high-quality. Abby Thornton created one rush from her own circle, going 65 yards with the ball to spark the Warriors offense with an exciting dash through the Nanticoke defense.
“I think, as a captain, she saw she had to help out the offense,” Comisky said. “Both Abbys did.”
The barrage came from a variety of players — Lindsay Carey, Drew Bednarski, Maddy Mulhern, Victoria Braccini and Grace Angelella all had scoring opportunities that just couldn’t find the back of the goal on this day.
For Wyoming Area, it was the Warriors’ second consecutive overtime game after losing their opener Friday at Holy Redeemer.
“We knew they were good,” Dennis said. “We saw them against Holy Redeemer and Wyoming Area ran them all over the field. We held them down as much as we could.”
Pittston Area 2
During the first half of Wednesday’s game in Shickshinny, the Pittston Area field hockey team was around the Northwest cage feverishly.
Many shots blew past the cage, just wide. And it wasn’t until Emily Herron, who got an assist from Katrina Mikitish, won the battle in one of many first-half scrums in front of Northwest keeper Olivia Piestrak to put the Patriots on the board for good.
The Patriots took down the defending WVC division champions 2-0.
That tally came with just two ticks on the first-half clock, after Pittston Area was awarded several penalty corners in a short period of time.
Herron added her second of the game midway through the second half to seal the deal for the Patriots.Lea Garibaldi had a trio of saves for the Patriots, who work flawlessly defensively.
Valley West 2
Wyoming Area 1
Danielle Grega provided a game-winning goal in overtime to lift Wyoming Valley West to a victory over Wyoming Area Thursday in Wyoming Valley Conference field hockey action. Grega scored with 4:31 remaining in overtime off a Julia Usefara assist.
Usefara sent the game into overtime with 1:56 remaining in regulation from a Megan Kane pass. The Spartans’ Alicia Moore picked up the victory with eight saves.
Emile Wanko scored the lone goal for Wyoming Area. Bree Bednarski earned an assist, and Christina Granteed had six saves.