WVC field hockey: Karaline Stelma strikes twice as Valley West hands Wyoming Area first league loss

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]
Wyoming Area’s Mackenzie Switzer knocks the ball down while Wyoming Valley West’s Cameryn Forgash watches during Monday’s game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Wyoming Area’s Toni Minichello shoots the ball during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West’s Emily Latoski knocks the ball down during Monday’s game against Wyoming Area at Spartan Stadium. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Wyoming Area’s Lauren Parente drives the ball to the net during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

KINGSTON — With a shrug and a smile, Karaline Stelma passes off her ability to score as a matter of happenstance.

But shots off her stick seem to find the cage with so much regularity, her scoring touch is too keen to be passed off to good fortune.

Stelma did it again Monday, scoring twice in a 10-minute span at Spartan Stadium while leading Wyoming Valley West to a 3-0 victory over Wyoming Area to dominate a battle of teams trying to stay alive for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 title during the Spartans’ annual Pink Game.

“Just right place, right time,” Stelma said.

And now, Valley West is right in the thick of things.

The Spartans moved to 5-1 and stayed on the heels of 8-0 Wyoming Seminary in the WVC championship race by handing Wyoming Area its first loss of the season.

The Warriors, who dropped to 6-1-1 in league play and to 11-1-1 overall, averaged nearly seven goals through their first 12 games but suffered their second shutout in three games — following last week’s 0-0 overtime tie with Lake-Lehman.

“You guys have all been talking about Wyoming Area all season,” Valley West coach Linda Fithian said. “They have excellent players, three among the top scoring leaders. We really focused on our defensive game.”

As usual, Stelma’s focus was on the other team’s cage — and her two goals over the game’s in the first 36:08 to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead and match the total number of goals Wyoming Area had allowed the entire season.

“We just worked on passing, having the field spread and getting shots off, getting corners,” Stelma said.

Stelma, Valley West’s scoring leader with seven goals in six league games, broke a scoreless deadlock by slamming a drive from the left side of the circle into the cage with just 3:14 remaining in the first half. She took special pride in producing in a game that not only matched two top-tier WVC teams, but donated proceeds from concession sales and raffles to breast cancer awareness.

“It was a big game because it was our Pink Game,” Stelma said, “which is a big fundraiser for us. But we look at every game as a big game.”

Her second score was simply perfectly placed.

Without much pace on her hit from the top of the circle, Stelma sent a slow roller just to the left of diving Wyoming Area goalie Ellie Glatz, who finished with 14 saves, for a 2-0 Valley West lead 6:08 into the second half — a back-breaking goal in a game where scoring proved to be at a premium.

“Sometimes, you get the lucky touch,” Stelma said. “Credit to my teammates. My shots were there at the right time.”

The Spartans then sewed up the win when Cameryn Forgash tipped in a rocket shot off a penalty corner by Foto Tsioles, setting the final score with 17:10 to play.

That gave Valley West, the two-time defending District 2 Class 2A champion and last year’s state silver medalist, a 6-2-1 overall record and its third consecutive victory since suffering a 4-0 defeat at Wyoming Seminary two weeks ago.

“Sem’s just Sem, we couldn’t finish in that game,” Stelma said. “But we don’t let that game dictate anything about us. We just forget about that and move on.”

The Spartans moved past Wyoming Area and 5-1-1 Lake-Lehman and into second place in Division 1 by shutting down a dangerous Warriors offensive attack.

During the second half, Wyoming Area didn’t manage a shot until taking a couple of penalty corners in the final six minutes.

“They settled in a little better in the second half,” Fithian said. “It was about stopping them up the middle, where they’re very good. Before halftime, everything was a little off. We tried to get our forwards and mids to attack a little bit.

“Good day for pink.”

Wyoming Sem 4, Holy Redeemer 0

Alex Wesneski scored the game’s first goal, then added two assists as the Blue Knights remained unbeaten at 11-0 overall and 8-0 atop the WVC Division 1 standings.

Hannah Maxwell scored at the end of the first half and early in the second as a two-goal lead for Sem went to 4-0.

Julia Christian finished with a goal and an assist in the victory and Mia Magnotta made six saves to record the shutout for Sem.

Lake-Lehman 5, Abington Heights 0

Kate Roberts scored two goals and Madeline Newman added two assists and the Black Knights blanked the Comets while improving to 5-1-1 in the WVC Division 1.

Roberts scored the game’s first goal 20:35 in, then added her second score in the second half to put Lehman up 4-0.

Alana Antonello scored to give the Black Knights a 2-0 lead by halftime and picked up an assist in the second half.

Amy Supey made nine saves to preserve Lehman’s shutout, while MaKenna Thorpe made 12 saves for the Comets.

Berwick 7, Meyers 0

Peyton Lipsey scored twice in the second half as the Bulldogs put away Meyers.

Sydney Kimbell and Kaylee Houser both scored in the first half as Berwick took a 2-0 lead at intermission.

Nadia Lombardi finished with a goal and two assists in the victory, Alexis Nevel dished out three assists and Jackie Nevel stopped four shots in goal to record the shutout.

Olyvia Jackson made 13 saves for Meyers.

Wallenpaupack 1, Pittston Area 0

The Buckhorns scored on a defensive deflection 8:20 into the game to sneak past the Patriots.

Sage Weidlich made 21 saves in goal for Pittston Area.

Madison Kier preserved the shutout with six saves for Wallenpaupack.

Valley West 3, Wyoming Area 0

Wyoming Area`0`0 — 0

Valley West`1`2 — 3

First half — 1. WVW, Karaline Stelma, 3:14. Second half — 2. WVW, Stelma (Elizabeth Luff), 23:52; 3. WVW, Cameryn Forgash (Rina Tsioles). 17:10.

Shots — WA 16; WVW 17. Saves — WA 14 (Ellie Glatz); WVW 7 (Sydney Rusnock). Penalty corners — WA 10; WVW 15.

Wyoming Sem 4, Holy Redeemer 0

Holy Redeemer`0`0 — 0

Wyoming Sem`3`1 — 4

First half — 1. SEM, Alex Wesneski (Julia Christian), 18:34; 2. SEM, Christian (Aubrey Mytych), 14:44; 3. SEM, Hannah Maxwell (Wesneski), 2:28. Second half — 4. SEM, Maxwell (Wesneski), 25:00.

Shots — HR 6; SEM 21. Saves — HR 17 (Meredythe Baird); SEM 6 (Mia Magnotta). Penalty corners — HR 9; SEM 16.

Lake-Lehman 5, Abington Heights 0

Abington Heights`0`0 — 0

Lake-Lehman`2`3 — 5

First half — 1. LL, Kate Roberts (Ava Radel), 9:25; 2. LL, Alana Antonello (Madeline Newman), 8:27. Second half — 3. LL, Grace O’Donnell (Roberts), 21:34; 4. LL, Roberts (Antonello), 15:35; 5. LL, Lyndsay Sayre (Newman), 4:51.

Shots — AH 9; LL 17. Saves — AH 12 (MaKenna Thorpe); LL 9 (Amy Supey). Penalty corners — AH 4; LL 11.

Berwick 7, Meyers 0

Meyers`0`0 — 0

Berwick`2`5 — 7

First half — 1. BER, Sydney Kimbell (Nadia Lombardi), 15:15; 2. BER, Kaylee Houser (Abbie Nevel), 7:35. Second half — 3. BER, Lombardi (Alexis Nevel), 27:30; 4. BER, Peyton Lipsey (Lombardi), 25:45; 5. BER, Hailey Stein (Alexis Nevel), 22:50; 6. BER, Peyton Lipsey, 20:40; 7. BER, Maddy Isenberg (Alexis Nevel, Hailey Stein), 6:51.

Shots — MEY 4; BER 20. Saves — MEY 13 (Olyvia Jackson); BER 4 (Jackie Nevel). Penalty corners — MEY 4; BER 7.

Wallenpaupack 1, Pittston Area 0

Wallenpaupack`0`1 — 1

Pittston Area`0`0 — 0

First half — 1. WAL, own goal, 21:40.

Shots — WAL 21; PA 6. Saves — WAL 6 (Madison Kier); PA 21 (Sage Weidlich).

Wyoming Area’s Mackenzie Switzer knocks the ball down while Wyoming Valley West’s Cameryn Forgash watches during Monday’s game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL100118G-FH-WVW-WA1.jpgWyoming Area’s Mackenzie Switzer knocks the ball down while Wyoming Valley West’s Cameryn Forgash watches during Monday’s game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Wyoming Area’s Toni Minichello shoots the ball during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL100118G-FH-WVW-WA2.jpgWyoming Area’s Toni Minichello shoots the ball during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Wyoming Valley West’s Emily Latoski knocks the ball down during Monday’s game against Wyoming Area at Spartan Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL100118G-FH-WVW-WA3.jpgWyoming Valley West’s Emily Latoski knocks the ball down during Monday’s game against Wyoming Area at Spartan Stadium. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Wyoming Area’s Lauren Parente drives the ball to the net during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL100118G-FH-WVW-WA4.jpgWyoming Area’s Lauren Parente drives the ball to the net during Monday’s game against Wyoming Valley West at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Valley West stays in title chase, hands Wyoming Area first loss

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @ TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @ TLPaulSokoloski