KINGSTON — The Wyoming Seminary girls lacrosse team has very little practice losing.
Yet, when faced with an unpleasant result, the Blue Knights responded perfectly.
With head coach Catie Kersey calmly leading the way, the Blue Knights acknowledged a strong effort by a quality opponent, but also recognized ways they could be better and went right to work making sure that happened.
As a result, Wyoming Seminary left little doubt which was the best team in the Wyoming Valley Conference and District 2 when it came time to decide titles.
Wednesday was the latest example, with Emily Sims providing four goals and three assists to a balanced attack in an 18-9 romp over visiting Lake-Lehman in the district’s Class 2A championship game at Nesbitt Stadium.
“I really think instead of getting down on ourselves and getting upset about it or giving up, we really bounced back from it,” Sims said. “It really gave us the determination to beat them the second time – and now the third time.”
Lake-Lehman had ended Wyoming Seminary’s 36-game WVC winning streak when the teams met for the first time this season.
Given two more shots in the 15 days since, Wyoming Seminary made sure both of its older streaks of success remained intact and did so emphatically, canceling the one-goal loss with two championship game victories by a total of 16 goals.
After earlier winning their sixth straight conference title, the Blue Knights captured their eighth straight district championship — the first six overall, the last two since the state starting deciding 3A and 2A champions. Since girls lacrosse titles have been decided locally, no team has been able to beat Wyoming Seminary out of either championship.
“I think we gained our composure,” said Wyoming Seminary senior midfielder and key defensive contributor Julia Gabriel. “We settled down and practiced playing under pressure and playing composed, not making bad passes.”
Wyoming Seminary used balance to overcome a fast start by Lake-Lehman speedster Katie Roberts.
While Lake-Lehman had just one player score more than once. Wyoming Seminary had three players score four goals and a total of five finish with multiple goals.
The Parsons sisters each scored four goals. Sophomore Paige also had an assist while freshman Grace matched her goal output.
“They are probably two of the most competitive players on the team,” Kersey said.
Christina Kilyanek completed her hat trick in the first half and finished with three goals and two assists. Nicole Joanlanne had two goals and two assists.
Roberts, who finished with seven goals, did all the Lake-Lehman scoring in the first 12:31 when the Black Knights took leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
Outshot 7-5 to that point, Wyoming Seminary dominated the next 15 ½ minutes, taking control by scoring eight of the game’s next nine shots while controlling possession and outshooting Lake-Lehman, 15-3.
“In the first game, they were killing us from setting up behind the cage,” Kersey said. “Defensively, I think we recognized the need to work hard every day at practice, that we couldn’t just assume we were going to win.”
The Blue Knights drilled on sliding to help defensively and, although Roberts gave them trouble in open field, they became much more effective against Lake-Lehman’s set plays.
While limiting Lake-Lehman’s shots, Wyoming Seminary got plenty of its own.
Sims had three goals and two assists during the deciding stretch to end the first half and start the second.
A veteran of four dual championship seasons and a starter for two-plus seasons, Sims enjoyed the title pursuit as a senior.
“For the past years, we’ve kind of just walked through the districts and beaten every team we’ve played,” she said. “After Lehman beat us, that was kind of a wake-up call for us to realize that not every team was just going to be beatable.
“Our team atmosphere this year was great. We just loved being around each other and I think that transferred onto the field.”
Wyoming Seminary advances into the PIAA tournament, beginning Tuesday at a District 2 site against the District 1 runner-up, either Radnor or Villa Maria Academy from Malvern.
District 2 Class 2A Championship Game
SCORING – LL, Katie Roberts (7 goals), Jess Evans (goal, assist), Hallie Jenkins (goal), Grace Butler (assist). SEM, Emily Sims (4 goals, 3 assists), Paige Parsons (4 goals, assist), Grace Parsons (4 goals), Christina Kilyanek (3 goals, 2 assists), Nicole Joanlanne (2 goals, 2 assists), Julia Gabriel (goal), Parker Callahan (2 assists). SHOTS – LL 21, SEM 30. SAVES – LL 8 (Butler), SEM 8 (Mia Raineri).
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