KINGSTON — Lake-Lehman quickly avenged its only Wyoming Valley Conference loss in a Saturday playoff game.
Now, in order to claim their first overall conference title, the Black Knights need to prevent Wyoming Seminary from doing the same.
Alicia Galasso, Jess Evans and Hallie Jenkins each had hat tricks while combining for 10 goals and five assists Saturday when Lake-Lehman defeated Delaware Valley, 11-9, at Klassner Field in the first of two playoff games needed to break a three-way tie for first place in the WVC.
The win sends Lake-Lehman into Monday’s game against five-time defending champion Wyoming Seminary at Crestwood at 5 p.m. to decide the championship.
Both Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Seminary entered the week with perfect WVC records.
Lake-Lehman ended Wyoming Seminary’s 36-game winning streak, 14-13 on Tuesday, leaving the Blue Knights on the brink of falling short of a WVC or District 2 title for the first time ever.
The Black Knights traveled to Delaware Valley the next day and suffered a 10-9 upset loss, losing sole possession of the first place, leading to the two playoff games.
In the first of the two rematches needed to settle the championship, Lake-Lehman never trailed.
“This game, we made sure our heads were clear to concentrate on the passing and the little things we needed to get the win,” said Jenkins, who scored three goals and assisted on two others.
Evans, who finished with three goals and three assists, scored twice in the first 2:07 before Delaware Valley had any significant possession time.
The Warriors quickly rallied for a 2-2 tie, but Jenkins sandwiched her first two goals around one that she set up for Galasso, opening a 5-2 lead before the midway point in the first half.
Lake-Lehman kept the advantage between two and four goals the rest of the way.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t get too flustered,” Jenkins said. “We stayed calm, made those quick passes and when the door was open, we took our shots.”
Galasso took the most impressive of those shots for the first of her game-high four goals. Jenkins made a pass from the right side to Galasso in front. With little room to operate while closely guarded by two defenders, Galasso received the pass and, in one motion, flipped a shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Getting hat tricks from three players is almost routine for Lake-Lehman, but the Black Knights had other help in getting through the playoff game.
The trip to Delaware Valley came Wednesday when freshmen were on their class trip, robbing Lake-Lehman of much of its depth.
“We had a day’s rest and it wasn’t as hot so the weather was a little bit more cooperative,” Lake-Lehman coach Ron Strohl said after the more than half the playoff game was played in the rain on Wyoming Seminary’s artificial turf field. “ … Seeing who their strength players were after playing them and having the rest of my team here made a difference.”
One of the freshmen, Ava Radel, snuck into an opening, received a pass from Evans and backhanded a shot for a 10-7 lead with 9:14 left.
Katie Roberts, often one of the players leading the scoring, was held scoreless but made other contributions. She ran the field, drawing attention from Delaware Valley’s defense and helped defensively, controlled a team-high six groundballs and forcing three turnovers.
“That was by the design, we used her to force doubles, force triples and open up the field for the rest of the team,” Strohl said.
Roberts beat two Delaware Valley players to a groundball with 11 seconds left ending the last of the pressure and putting the win away.
The teams finished even in shots, but Grace Butler came through with 12 saves.
When Lake-Lehman handed Wyoming Seminary its first loss since 2015, both coaches acknowledged the strong possibility that they could meet again — presumably in the District 2 playoffs. Instead, the rematch came about even sooner.
“Kudos to Lehman, they played a really good game, played hard for 50 minutes and we certainly gave them our best,” Wyoming Seminary coach Catie Kersey said after Tuesday’s loss. “ … This is certainly not the end of the road, and we’re just going to continue to work hard to get better.”
Crestwood 15, Wyoming Area 14
Natasha Koslop scored 11 goals and Emily Roberts added two as Crestwood defeated Wyoming Area in a game played Friday.
Emma Kelleher had five goals and Cassidy Orzel added four for Wyoming Area.
Lake-Lehman 11, Delaware Valley 9
Delaware Valley`4`5 — 9
Lake-Lehman`6`5 — 11
SCORING — DV, Mia VanWie (2 goals, 2 assists), Kirsten Dunn (2 goals), Faith Fucetola (2 goals), Vanessa VanDuzer (goal), Lauren Matarazzo (goal), Emily Covert (goal). LL, Alicia Galasso (4 goals), Jess Evans (3 goals, 3 assists), Hallie Jenkins (3 goals, 2 assists), Ava Radel (goal), Samantha Aben (assist).
Shots — DV 25, LL 25. Saves — DV 10 (Mandy Xu), LL 12 (Grace Butler).
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