KINGSTON — As she broke away down the left sideline late in a scoreless gold medal game, Hannah Maxwell caught a glimpse of her Wyoming Seminary teammate Aubrey Mytych crashing toward the circle.
But in an instant, that golden opportunity to win a gold medal went crashing to the ground.
And it turned into more field hockey heartbreak for the Pocono Region at the Keystone State Games.
Emmaus standout Riley Baughman took a feed from Easton’s Ellie McIntyre and scored the game’s only goal in overtime Sunday, lifting Lehigh Valley 1 over Pocono 1, 1-0 in the Keystone championship at Wyoming Seminary’s Nesbitt Field.
“It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for and trying for,” Maxwell said. “I thought we had a lot of opportunities. We just couldn’t finish.”
Perhaps the best one for Pocono to win gold came about six minutes into the 10-minute overtime period, with two girls who helped Sem reach last year’s PIAA Class A state final setting up for a score.
Maxwell took off on a breakaway and Mytych closed in expecting a solid pass. But Maxwell was pushed to the ground from behind, resulting in a penalty corner for Pocono that Lehigh Valley’s vaunted defense made fruitless.
“Hannah was taking the ball up the field, I was there,” Mytych said. “And the girl tripped Hannah from behind. Me and Hannah work so well together, that’s one that really would have put it away.
“The biggest opportunity we had.”
Lehigh Valley won all six of its games in the tourney by out-scoring its opponents 32-0, including a 2-0 win over Pocono 1 on Saturday and Sunday’s 1-0 overtime win.
“They’re just good,” Pocono 1 coach Jean Lipski of Lake-Lehman said.
Pocono finished the Keystone Games at 3-2-1 after suffering a 1-1 tie at the hands of Blue Mountain earlier Sunday, and didn’t win any of its final three games while scoring just once after opening at 3-0 with 20 goals.
“Always disappointed with second place,” said Mytych, whose Sem squad finished with a 2017 silver medal after a 2-1 loss to Greenwood in the Class A state title game. “To me, second place is the first loser. After getting second in the (high school) state (championship game) and now here, we want to be on top.”
Wyoming Valley West players Rina Tsoiles, Karaline Stelma and goalie Sydney Rusnock know the feeling.
Valley West also dropped a 2-1 decision, to Villa Maria in the 2017 PIAA Class 2A state championship game.
“I think we tried our best,” Mytych said of Sunday’s final. “This year, it just gives us more motivation.”
Lipski lauded the determination of her Pocono 1 squad, which made drastic improvements between the two times it faced Lehigh Valley in a 24-hour span.
“Of course I’d rather the gold. I’m pretty competitive,” said Lipski, who has guided Lehman to four consecutive PIAA playoff berths. “I really thought we had the team to do it. I still do. We reached a whole new level of field hockey today. I told them it truly was an honor.”
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski