BERWICK — Just like that — with the blaring of the horn — Crestwood held all of the cards in the second half.
Almost simultaneously with the halftime horn, Marissa Surdy struck a ball that rattled along the top right corner of the cage. And with that, the momentum swung from Southern Lehigh’s favor towards the Comets’ favor.
Surdy’s score gave Crestwood a much-needed kickstart in a 2-0 shutout over Southern Lehigh in the PIAA Class 2A field hockey quarterfinals Saturday at Berwick’s Crispin Field. The Comets advance to the semifinals, where it will face District 3’s Oley Valley — a 6-0 winner over Forbes Grove — on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“We were getting chances and penalty corners but not making anything out of them,” Crestwood coach Elvetta Gemski said. “But it can happen one time. The more chances the better but sometimes that’s not the way.”
The game-winning goal primarily came as a result of Maury Cronauer’s hustle. Cronauer drew a foul after she and Spartan goalkeeper Shelby Drissel collided over a loose ball. Cronauer came up limping but soon was hugging her teammates when Ashleigh Thomas drew the assist on the penalty corner opportunity.
“It was really about getting it in there,” Gemski said. “A lot of those penalty corners were really coming up flat. For us to get that there was a big advantage for us going into the half.”
The Comets played on thin ice for the majority of the second half, struggling to get an insurance goal that would ease their concerns. With just over six minutes remaining, Crestwood finally received a break with a fine passing play. At the top of the circle, Morgan Kile lassoed a Drissel kick save with her back towards the goal. Kile had her bearings right and fired a no-look strike to Thomas, who was waiting idly on the weak side and gave the Comets a 2-0 lead.
Kile pushed away several Spartan attempts with 20 minutes remaining in the second half. She thwarted Southern Lehigh’s best chance when she charged Isamarie Ramos with an open net.
“Morgan’s been doing it all year,” Gemski said. “She creates opportunities, and she also stops a lot of chances on the other end.”
Crestwood struggled to catch any kind of advantage in the first half. Drissel made one of her six saves on the game on a Hunter Pitman shot with 13:58 left. Moments later, Surdy had a penalty shot opportunity that she sailed wide left.
“They had great stick play,” Gemski said. “They were able to get around us sometimes, and that was really slowing us down a little bit at first.”
Crestwood had a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Comets also held a 10-7 edge over the Spartans on penalty kicks. Dallas Kendra made one save for the Comets.
PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal
Crestwood 2, Southern Lehigh 1
First half — 1. CRE, Marissa Surdy (Ashleigh Thomas), :00. Second half — 2. CRE, Thomas (Morgan Kile), 6:06.
Shots — SL 3; CRE 9. Saves — SL 6 (Shelby Drissel); CRE 1 (Dallas Kendra). Penalty corners — SL 7; CRE 10