WRIGHT TWP. — As a play-making midfielder, Emily Latoski doesn’t necessarily expect to score goals as much as help produce them for Wyoming Valley West.
Against Crestwood, she did both.
And it led the defending District 2 champion Spartans to an easy early-season victory.
Karaline Stelma had a hat trick Tuesday, Latoski added two goals and an assist and Valley West crushed Crestwood 7-0 at Crestwood High School in a rematch of the past two Class 2A district title games that were both won by the Spartans by identical 2-0 scores.
“It’s a great feeling to know even though we’re a really young team, we’re doing great,” Stelma said.
Maybe that’s because the Spartans are pretty good at what they do.
After losing a handful of premier talent from a team that finished as the Class 2A state silver medalist last year, the Spartans quickly surged to a 2-0 start to the 2018 season.
They rode three assists from Cameryn Forgash and two more from Rina Tsioles to carry the action at the offensive end, while keeping the ball out of Crestwood’s end and holding Comets shots to a minimum.
Spartans goalies Sydney Rusnock and Mallory McDermott faced just four shots the entire game and none through the first 24 minutes of the second half, while easily preserving the shutout.
“The girls are grinding it out and coming together,” Valley West coach Linda Fithian said. “The score wasn’t indicative of the game. I thought both teams played really well today. It’s really early on.”
The Spartans scored twice in the game’s first seven minutes on goals from Elizabeth Luff and Stelma, then Latoski got going.
She tucked an insert from Forgash over the goal line on a penalty corner with 2:50 remaining in the first half, then opened the the second half scoring in much the same way. Latoski lifted a pass from Forgash into the back of the cage on another corner, giving Valley West a 4-0 lead and pretty much taking away Crestwood’s comeback hopes.
“I’m not always going to be looking for the score,” Latoski said. “I’m going to look for the easiest way to score. If there’s a better (way with a) pass, I’m going to pass it.”
She did that, too, dishing an assist on Stelma’s second goal — which came with 18:56 remaining and put a running clock under the sportsmanship rule in effect with a 5-0 Valley West lead.
Forgash scored Valley West’s sixth goal to go along with her trio of earlier assists and Stelma hit her third goal on a penalty corner with a second to play to set the final score.
“I’ve always tried to stay on post and get on the goalie’s pads,” Stelma said. “That’s what I did today.”
It was Stelma who scored the lone goal for the Spartans in that 2-1 state championship loss to Villa Maria Academy last season. And from the looks of things, she wouldn’t mind another crack at another title run.
“We want to get first this year,” Stelma said. “I don’t like second place, I really don’t. We worked hard this preseason.
“So far, we’re doing well.”
Wyoming Seminary 4, Dallas 0
Kelsey Reznick scored the final goal of the first half and assisted on the only goal of the second as the defending WVC Division 1 champion and Class A state runner-up Blue Knights moved to 2-0 by putting away the Mountaineers.
Alex Wesneski, Bari Lefkowitz and Hannah Maxwell also scored goals for Sem, while Mia Magnotta made five stops in goal to preserve the shutout.
Amanda Puza made nine saves in her second start for Dallas.
Berwick 2, Tunkhannock 0
Peyton Lipsey broke a deadlock that lasted for nearly 40 minutes by scoring unassisted in the second half, then Sydney Kimbell scored just under eight minutes later as the Bulldogs moved to 2-0 in the WVC Division 2.
Jackie Nevel stopped the only shot against her and the Bulldogs defense dominated in picking up the shutout.
Jonica Snay made 11 saves in goal for the Tigers.
Wyoming Area 7,
Delaware Valley 0
Lauren Parente had a hat trick, Antonia Minichello finished with two goals and two assists by halftime and the Wyoming Area went to 2-0 on the season.
Kari Melberger and Kayla Kiwak also scored and the Wyoming Area defense held Delaware Valley without a shot.
Goalie Emily Fiesta finished with 21 saves for Delaware Valley.
Coughlin 3, Abington Heights 0
Ashley Chase, Jolene Ulichney and Candaladia Washinsky all scored within a 14-minute spree of the first half as the Crusaders charged to victory.
Briannah Lee made seven saves in the shutout.
MaKenna Thorpe stopped six shots for the Comets.
Hazleton Area 3,
Molly Znatchko took a pass from Haylee Petroski and scored the winning goal with 21:29 to play, completing the Cougars’ comeback from a two-goal deficit for its first win of the season.
Madison Schmalzle scored twice in the first half to give the Buckhorns a 2-0 lead. But Jill Buchman dished out assists to Molly Gould with 3:22 remaining in the opening half and to Kaitlyn Dichel 5:29 into the second half as Hazleton Area tied the game.
Three games rained out
High school field hockey games between Lake-Lehman and Holy Redeemer, Pittston Area and Honesdale and Meyers and Nanticoke Area, all scheduled for grass fields, were postponed by wet grounds Tuesday.
Lake-Lehman will play at Holy Redeemer on Oct 5, Pittston Area will visit Honesdale on Oct. 4, while Meyers will face Nanticoke Area at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Valley West 7, Crestwood 0
Valley West`3`4 — 7
Crestwood`0`0 — 0
First half — 1. WVW, Elizabeth Luff (Cameryn Forgash), 28:22; 2. WVW, Karaline Stelma (Rina Tsioles), 23:01; 3. WVW, Emily Latoski (Forgash), 2:50. Second half — 4. WVW, Latoski (Forgash), 21:27; 5. WVW, Stelma (Latoski), 18:26; 6. WVW, Forash (Luff), 10:11; 7. WVW, Stelma, 0:01.
Shots — WVW 14; CRE 4. Saves — WVW 4 (Sydney Rusnock); CRE 7 (Olivia Novrocki). Penalty corners — WVW 10; CRE 5.
Wyoming Sem 4, Dallas 0
Wyoming Sem`3`1 — 4
Dallas`0`0 — 0
First half — 1. SEM, Alex Wesneski, 24:26; 2. SEM, Bari Lefkowitz, 12:28; 3. SEM, Kelsey Reznick (Julia Christian), 6:08. Second half — 4. SEM, Hannah Maxwell (Reznick), 24:06.
Shots — SEM 13; DAL 5. Saves — SEM 5 (Mia Magnotta); DAL 9 (Amanda Puza). Penalty corners — SEM 5; DAL 9.
Berwick 2, Tunkhannock 0
Tunkhannock`0`0 — 0
Berwick`0`2 — 2
Second half — 1. BER, Peyton Lipsey, 20:23; 2. BER, Sydney Kimbell (Alexis Nevel), 11:50.
Shots — TUN 1; BER 13. Saves — TUN 11 (Jonica Snay); BER 1 (Jackie Nevel). Penalty corners — TUN1; BER 8.
Wyoming Area 7, Delaware Valley 0
Delaware Valley`0`0 — 0
Wyoming Area`4`3 — 7
First half — 1. WA, Antonia Minichello, 22:05; 2. WA, Lauren Parente (Minichello), 15:44; 3. WA, Parente (Minichello), 12:15; 4. WA, Minichello, 5:54. Second half — 5. WA, Parente, 24:19; 6. WA, Kari Melberger (Kayla Kiwak), 20:32; 7. WA, Kiwak, 6:19.
Shots — DV 0; WA 31. Saves — DV 21 (Emily Fiesta); WA 0 (Ellie Glatz, Kelly Casterline). Penalty corners — DV 2; WA 7.
Coughlin 3, Abington Heights 0
Coughlin`3`0 — 3
Abington Heights`0`0 — 0
First half — 1. COU, Ashley Chase, 28:06; 2. COU, Jolene Ulichney, 26:00; 3. COU, Candaladia Washinsky, 13:52.
Shots — COU 9; AH 7. Saves — COU 7 (Briannah Leee); AH 6 (MaKenna Thorpe). Penalty corners — COU 12; AH 9.
Hazleton Area 3, Wallenpaupack 2
Wallenpaupack`2`0 — 2
Hazleton Area`1`2 — 3
First half — 1. WAL, Madison Schmalzle, 12:59; 2. WAL, Schmalzle (Abbie McCue), 7:48; 3. HAZ, Molly Gould (Jill Buchman), 3:22. Second half — 4. HAZ, Kaitlyn Diehl (Buchman), 24:31; 5. HAZ, Molly Znatchko (Haylee Petroski), 21:29.
Shots — WAL 5; HAZ 11. Saves — WAL 8 (Madison Kier); HAZ 3 (Jenna Corra). Penalty corners — WAL 1; HAZ 10.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski