There’s a little bit of a 2004 feel to this season’s PIAA field hockey tournaments.
That year will be forever remembered for three District 2 entries reaching the state finals. In that season, Crestwood defeated Wyoming Seminary in overtime in the Class 2A state final. Coughlin reached the Class 3A final, where it lost to powerhouse Emmaus.
But before the pressure is heaped onto each program to repeat such an amazing championship day, there’s some hurdles to overcome.
Wyoming Seminary (14-6-1) must start out on the road, playing Selinsgrove at its home away from home — Bucknell University.
The Seals (20-1) won their ninth straight District 4 title to get a rematch with Sem. The two played on Oct. 4, with Selinsgrove taking a 4-1 decision. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was 2006, when the Blue Knights won the state semifinal 3-1 on their way to a gold medal.
Crestwood (21-0) gets Boiling Springs in the first game of its title defense at states.
The Bubblers were the No. 2 seed in the District 3 tournament, entering with only a tie against Gettysburg blemishing an otherwise perfect regular season. But in the district tournament, Boiling Springs dropped consecutive games to No. 3 seed Oley Valley and No. 5 seed Lancaster Mennonite.
Now 18-2-1, Boiling Springs brings 30-goal scorer Mary Kate Spisak in to face the Comets, winners of 36 consecutive games. Goalie Delaney Gitt has starred for the Bubblers, who allowed just two goals through their first 17 games and six in all.
Coughlin (12-5) opens against District 11 runner-up Pleasant Valley, a team which has shown marked improvement as it progressed through its schedule.
The Bears are 16-8 after their loss to Emmaus in the district final, but overcame three losses to Stroudsburg and one to Northampton to beat both in their district tournament after entering as a No. 7 seed.