KINGSTON – Maybe Coughlin's dancing still needs a little work, but the Crusaders are right on their field hockey game.
Coughlin scored on its first offensive chance and led throughout a 3-1 victory over Honesdale in the District 2 Class 3A championship Thursday.
This is the best feeling of my whole field hockey career, said sophomore Kyra Castano, who netted her fifth goal of the season to open the scoring.
As for the post-game celebration …
We just kind of stepped after practice yesterday, she said of the routine the team did in the Spartan Stadium grandstand. We didn't get it right at first, then we did it right.
Coughlin won its first district championship since 2009 -- the last of a great run of five titles in six seasons, highlighted by a trip to the state final in 2004. The Crusaders (13-4) will play the District 11 runner-up -- one of Emmaus, Stroudsburg, Northampton or Bangor – Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA tournament.
The District 11 semifinals are Friday and the championship is Sunday.
Some of these seniors were from that team, Coughlin coach Colleen Wood said of the 2009 squad.
Anytime you get that first goal early, it feels good.
Katie Colleran started a penalty corner and tipped a blast from Caitlin Wood. Colleran also had a rebound chance turned away by Honesdale's Nicole Cush. But the third opportunity went to Castano, who took care of business.
The ball came right at me and I saw an opening, Castano said. I took the shot quick and it went right in. Oh, yeah, I was nervous (in that moment before taking the shot), but once I made contact, it felt good.
The Crusaders generated opportunities with its regular offense, but cashed in chances in the open field. Brigid Wood sent an outlet from her defensive zone to Madysen Jones, who sent Caitlin Wood in 1-on-2. Wood worked around a defender to her left and ripped a reverse-stick goal into the far corner of the cage with five minutes left in the first half.
Early in the second half, Brigid Wood threaded a pass to Jones behind the defense for a breakaway. Cush made a diving stop on the initial shot, but Jones showed her veteran savvy by calmly depositing the rebound into the goal for a 3-0 lead.
Sam Krempasky was the only Hornet (13-7) to solve Paige Tedik and did so on a rebound. Tedik made eight saves and the backline of Haley Waslasky, Sarah Zbierski and Dominique Oko was impressive in limiting Honesdale's offense. Zbierski had a defensive save.
Coughlin 3, Honesdale 1
First half: 1. COU, Kyra Castano (Katie Colleran), 28:44; 2. COU, Caitlin Wood (Madysen Jones) 5:29. Second half: 3. COU, Jones, 27:43; 4. HON, Sam Krempasky, 18:18.
Shots: HON 12, COU 14. Saves: HON 11 (Nicole Cush), COU 8 (Paige Tedik). Corners: HON 7, COU 6.