TUNKHANNOCK — It was as if two different teams played the second half at Tunkhannock on Tuesday.
A back-and-forth game in the first half was all Pittston Area after halftime as the Patriots claimed a 5-1 victory over the host Tigers in a WVC Division 2 showdown.
“We had just talked about how we’ve struggled starting halves with a lot of pace and tempo,” Pittston Area coach Caitlin Hadzimichalis said. “We did a better job at the start of the game, too..”
Pittston Area managed just three penalty corners in the first half, but earned 10 of the 11 called in the second half. The Patriots converted two of them in the first 10 minutes after intermission, breaking a 2-1 game open.
Dana Maurizi worked a give-and-go with Nicole Chaiko for the first goal, scoring from the end line after sending the injection pass to Chaiko. Katrina Mikitish added a marker two minutes later on a blast from the top of the circle off the set up by Alexa Danko.
“That’s been a big area of emphasis,” Hadzimichalis said of penalty corners. “Before our last game, we hadn’t scored consistently on corners all season.”
In the second half, Pittston Area enjoyed a 13-5 shots advantage to go with that 10-1 corners edge.
“Once we got down 3-1, we played like this wasn’t attainable,” Tunkhannock coach Ashlie Lewis said. “They just couldn’t get mentally back up. But we can take a lot out of this moving forward.”
The first half was much different, as the Tigers went step for step with the Patriots. On the fast grass in Tunkhannock, the Tigers posted 11 of the 18 first-half shots and earned eight of the 11 corners before the break.
Pittston Area’s Alana Platukus opened the scoring on a long rush up the right side. After receiving the ball near midfield, she charged into the circle and fired a 10-yard blast past Mary Sicker.
Tunkhannock answered on a corner, nullifying a great defensive play by Pittston Area’s Julie Stella. Stella blocked the initial shot from the circle only to have it go back to Tunkhannock’s Haylee Underwood. A second shot by Underwood got to the front of the goal, where Maggie Sohns directed it home to tie the game in the 22nd minute.
“We knew they were a tough team, really aggressive to the ball,” Lewis said. “They are a really fast team overall, too. We just shut down (to start the second half) and couldn’t recoup from that. Time just wasn’t on our side after that.”
Emily Herron set up the game-winner with a long rush late in the first half. Herron sent a cross to the far post where Chaiko was waiting to tuck it home for the lead.
Maurizi added a late goal for Pittston Area. Alissa Zamber and Elissa Stretch had defensive saves for Tunkhannock.
Both goalies played well, despite the one-sided score. Lea Garibaldi of Pittston Area made 12 saves, while Tunkhannock’s Mary Sickler had 11 stops.
First half — 1. PIT, Alana Platukus, 15:47; 2. TUNK, Maggie Sohns (Haylee Underwood), 9:13; 3. PIT, Nicole Chaiko (Emily Herron), 6:21. Second half — 4. PIT, Dana Maurizi (Chaiko), 23:22; 5. PIT, Katrina Mikitish (Alexa Danko), 21:53; 6, PIT, Maurizi (Paige Danko), 1:42.
Shots — PIT 20; TUNK 16. Saves — PIT 12 (Lea Garibaldi); TUNK 11 (Mary Sickler). Penalty corners — PIT 13; TUNK 9.
Meyers 2, Hanover Area 1
Bri DiMaggio scored the game-winning goal with 2:34 remaining to lift Meyers to a victory over Hanover Area.
Allison Berman added an unassisted goal earlier in the second for Meyers.
Brittany McNair recorded the lone goal for Hanover Area off a pass from Brexy Pena.
Meyers 2, Hanover Area 1
Second half — 1. MEY Allison Berman, 28:12; 2. HAN Brittany McNair (Brexy Pena), 19:20; 3. MEY Bri DiMaggio, 2:34.
Shots — MEY 6; HAN 2. Saves — MEY 1; HAN 4 (Haley Bobos). Penalty corners — MEY 9; HAN 1.