WILKES-BARRE — These regular season field hockey games, the Holy Redeemer Royals insist, are really pretty difficult.
Their early-season domination says quite the opposite.
Freshman Addy Bielski triggered another offensive outburst with a goal and an assist in the first half and McKenna Dolan cleaned up with the game’s final two goals Wednesday as Redeemer rolled over Northwest 6-0 in a showdown of two Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 unbeatens at Hollenback Park.
“You always have that little bit of competition,” Bielski said. “You have to go into every game, not expecting to win, just to work harder.
“No team is too easy to beat.”
The Royals are just making it seem that way.
They ran their two-year league winning streak to 15-0 and moved to 3-0 this season by smothering a solid Northwest squad with strong defense and using timely scoring bursts to drop the Rangers to 2-1.
“You know, this was probably our biggest competition in the regular season,” Holy Redeemer defender Jesse Ornoski said. “And we brought all our defenders back. We’re just trying to stay as strong as we can as long as we can.”
Their strength is overpowering.
The Royals have now outscored their three WVC opponents by a combined 32-0, after winning their first two games by identical 13-0 scores. And they’re not just shutting out opponents, the Royals defenders are completely shutting teams down.
Redeemer goalie Meredyth Baird didn’t even have to make a save Wednesday as the Royals held Northwest without a shot on goal and staved off two penalty corners.
“A shutout for every game would be great,” Ornoski grinned. “No, we didn’t expect it coming in, but as the games continue, we try to keep that streak. As defenders, it’s kind of our goal not to let any goals in. We really try to communicate and stay in the right positions. Sometimes our offense takes over, and we don’t get to do much. We still have to play. A big thing, when we’re not touching the ball, is communicating with our offense.”
In Redeemer’s biggest test so far, the team’s offensive outburst was fueled by a first-year forward.
Bielski, one of the few Royals starters who wasn’t a part of last season’s run to an unbeaten regular season and PIAA Class A semifinal appearance, buried a goal with 18:24 remaining in the first half, triggering a three-goal outburst within a four-minute span that stung the Rangers.
Less than a minute later, Leah Mullery scored Redeemer’s second goal, and Bielski assisted on Kayla Kruk’s goal that sent the Royals into halftime holding a 3-0 lead.
“Playing as a freshman, you don’t expect to have such a big impact,” Bielski said. “Of course, you always want to help out the team. You always want to work your hardest. In junior high, I had a lot of goals. Coming into high school, it helps a lot to have good people around you to help out.
“It’s really great to be part of the team.”
The team is happy to have her.
“We lost a couple starters from last year,” Ornoski, a senior stalwart, said. “Addy, as a freshman coming in, is extremely helpful. She’s really helping out the team as a forward. And she’s going to be here after this year, so she’ll be part of the future.”
It was the third goal in three career high school games for Bielski, who scored twice in a season-opening mauling of Meyers.
“The junior high coach said Addy would be a good addition,” Holy Redeemer coach Maura McCormick said. “She’s been working to try to make the starting lineup. After a couple weeks, Addy’s starting to earn that starting position.”
Dolan took over the second half, as she assisted on Becky Revitt’s goal to make it 4-0, then converted two scores of her own as the Royals scored three times in just over 13 minutes to put the game away.
“Each team brings different competition,” McCormick said, “and lets us work on different skills. “We’ll work on different passing skills, different shooting skills, doing different things before they’re allowed to take a shot. We definitely have things to work on each game throughout the second half, just to help them out in future games.”
Off to a smoking start after handily defeating the teams that were projected to give them the most trouble this season, it’s starting to look like the Royals are positioning themselves for another league title and deep playoff run.
“We’re very experienced from last year,” Ornoski said. “With so many players coming back, we don’t expect to be good.
“We know we have to work for it.”
Coughlin 1, Crestwood 0 (OT)
Ashley Chase scored the game’s only goal just under three minutes into overtime as the Crusaders opened the season at 2-0 by stunning Crestwood.
Jolene Ulichney registered the assist on Chase’s winning goal and Briannah Lee made six saves to secure the shutout, which dropped last year’s District 2 Class 2A finalist and Class 2A state semifinalist Crestwood to 0-3 to start the season.
Eryn Venesky made four saves in regulation for the Comets to force the seven-on-seven, 15-minute overtime.
Wyoming Seminary 5,
Hazleton Area 1
Alicia Carr scored twice and Kelsey Reznick added a goal and an assist in the second half as Wyoming Seminary broke away from Hazleton Area and moved to 3-0, tied atop the WVC Division 1.
Carr took an assist from Aubrey Mytych and converted the only goal of the opening half with a tick over three minutes remaining before intermission.
After Hannah Maxwell gave the Blue Knights a two-goal lead by scoring just over 10 minutes into the second half, Megan Reed cut Hazleton Area’s deficit in half with the team’s lone goal with 12:39 to play. But Carr tallied her second score under four minutes later, triggering a three-goal attack in the span of 128 seconds that ended the suspense.
Wyoming Area 7,
Lackawanna Trail 0
Laura Parente scored three of her four goals in the second half to help the Warriors crack open a tight game and remain unbeaten in three games and tied at the top of the WVC Division 1.
Kayla Kiwak scored the game’s first goal 85 seconds in, then assisted on two more scores in the second half. Parente scored unassisted 32 seconds before halftime to send Wyoming Area into intermission with a two-goal lead.
Kari Melberger added two assists in the victory, while Abby Gober and Jalen Rhodes had a goal apiece for the Warriors. Ellie Glatz made four saves in goal to preserve Wyoming Area’s second straight shutout.
Hanover Area 0
Abbie Nevel took a feed from Sammi Starr and punched home the game’s only goal with 7:01 remaining in the first half, lifting Berwick to victory.
Jackie Nevel made three saves in the shutout as the Bulldogs moved to 2-1 on the season.
Rebecca Merth made four stops in goal for Hanover Area.
Nanticoke Area 4, Meyers 3 (OT)
Olivia Nice scored an unassisted goal in overtime as the Trojanettes stormed back from a 3-1 deficit by scoring three straight times to earn the victory.
Nice began the comeback by scoring off an assist from Amanda Margalski, who opened the game’s scoring in the first half, with 8:48 remaining in regulation. Veronica Penko then scored unassisted with 1:45 to play to force overtime.
Sara Mangold tied the game at 1-1 by scoring with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half, then hit her second consecutive goal less then four minutes into the second half to give Meyers a 2-1 lead. Selena Soto registered a goal to put the Mohawks up by two scores with 12:07 on the second-half clock before Nanticoke Area charged back.
Holy Redeemer 6, Northwest 0
First half — 1. HR, Addy Bielski (Kayla Kruk), 18:24; 2. HR, Leah Mullery, 17:41; 3. HR, Kruk (Bielski), 14:38. Second half — 4. HR, Becky Revitt (McKenna Dolan), 19:27; 5. HR, Dolan, 11:19; 6. HR, Dolan (Kat Finnegan), 6:11.
Shots — NW 0; HR 15. Saves — NW 9 (Jackie Jones); HR 0 (Meredyth Baird). Penalty corners — NW 2; HR 10.
Coughlin 1, Crestwood 0 (OT)
Overtime — 1. COU, Ashley Chase (Jolene Ulichney), 12:09.
Shots — CRE 6; COU 5. Saves — CRE 4 (Eryn Venesky); COU 6 (Briannah Lee). Penalty corners — CRE 5; COU 17.
Wyoming Seminary 5, Hazleton Area 1
First half — 1. SEM, Alicia Carr (Aubrey Mytych), 3:01. Second half — 2. SEM, Hannah Maxwell (Julia Christian), 19:14; 3. HAZ, Megan Reed, 12:39; 4. SEM, Carr (Kelsey Reznick), 8:48; 5. SEM, Grace Parsons (Bari Lefkowitz), 7:41; 6. SEM, Reznick, 6:40.
Shots — HAZ 12; SEM 17. Saves — HAZ 10 (Jenna Corra); SEM 8 (Mia Magnotta). Penalty corners — HAZ 4; SEM 7.
Wyoming Area 7, Lackwanna Trail 0
First half — 1. WA, Kayla Kiwak, 28:35; 2. WA, Lauren Parente, 0:32. Second half — 3. WA, Parente (Cassidy Orzel), 27:43; 4. WA, Parente (Kiwak), 27:11; 5. WA, Abby Gober (Kari Melberger), 13:20; 6. WA, Parente (Melberger), 9:50; 7. WA, Jalen Rhodes (Kiwak), 2:00.
Shots — LT 6; WA 16. Saves — LT 8 (Sam Baltrusaitis); WA 4 (Ellie Glatz). Penalty corners — LT 4; WA 12.
Berwick 1, Hanover Area 0
First half — 1. BER, Abbie Nevel (Sammi Starr), 22:59.
Shots — HAN 3; BER 5. Saves — HAN 4 (Rebecca Merth); BER 3 (Jackie Nevel). Penalty corners — HAN 4; BER 6.
Nanticoke Area 4, Meyers 3 (OT)
First half — 1. NAN, Amanda Margalski (Sy’raia Maneyi), 13:13; 2. MEY, Sara Mangold (Sarah Bottger), 10:09. Second half — 3. MEY, Mangold (Selena Soto), 26:39; 4. MEY, Soto (Suzie Grohowski), 12:07; 5. NAN, Olivia Nice (Margalski), 8:48; 6. NAN, Veronica Penko, 1:45. Overtime — 7. NAN, Nice.
Shots — NAN 7; MEY 13. Saves — NAN 10 (Jill Maute); MEY 3 (Olyvia Jackson). Penalty corners — NAN 9; MEY 10.