WVC field hockey: Alex Wesneski put Wyoming Sem a win away from WVC field hockey title

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]
Wyoming Seminary midfielder Julia Christian takes a shot against the Hazleton Area goal during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area. - Sean McKeag | For Times Leader
Hazleton Area’s Jill Kringe, left, fights for the ball against Wyoming Seminary’s Aubrey Mytych during a WVC field hockey game at Hazleton Area’s Harman Geist Field. - Sean McKeag | For Times Leader
Hazleton Area’s Nina Filler, left, eyes up the ball that Wyoming Seminary’s Hannah Maxwell possesses during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area. - Sean McKeag | For Times Leader

HAZLETON — Something has Wyoming Seminary steamed.

And the Blue Knights are taking it out on their Wyoming Valley Conference competition.

Alex Wesneski scored six goals Thursday, Mia Magnotta made five saves and Sem swatted away Hazleton Area, 8-0, to close within one victory of wrapping up a second consecutive Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 title.

“We’ve been working on our scoring quite a bit,” Wyoming Sem coach Karen Klassner said.

No more work needed.

The Blue Knights exploded for their second straight lopsided victory of the week, following Monday’s 10-0 drubbing of Crestwood, while improving to 11-0 in league play with two games remaining in the regular season.

The latest two of those victories, by a combine score of 18-0, followed Sem’s only two losses of the season to national powers this past weekend — a 3-2 defeat to Eastern (N.J.) and a 1-0 loss to Sacred Heart (Kentucky).

“I just think those games helped us a lot, knowing how we have to come out every game,” said Wesneski, who added the team vowed to use those defeats at motivation.

“We’re not a team that really likes to lose.”

Apparently not.

Wesneski, a junior forward, started the scoring at Harman Geist Field with a goal less than two minutes into the game, and the Blue Knights were off and running.

“She should be scoring a lot for us,” Klassner said. “We have been working on our mids (midfielders) getting the ball to our forwards. Our forwards need to put the ball in the cage.”

Wesneski got the message.

After Aubrey Mytych and Hannah Maxwell added scores to give Sem a 3-0 lead within the first eight minutes, Wesneski finished with a flurry by hitting the game’s final five goals.

She scored three more times in a 6:30 span of the first half — including one of a penalty stroke — to get the clock running constantly under the sportsmanship rule (a five-goal lead). Then Wesneski finished up with the only two goals of the second half, both within a two-minute stretch, to record a rare double hat trick and set the final score.

Meanwhile Magnotta, who has allowed just one goal during the regular season, made a brilliant save early to record her 10th shutout.

“I think tonight, we just basically saw openings in the field,” Wesneski said. “We were in the right position. It transitioned from Mia (Magnotta) saving a ball from going into the back of the cage to us on offense.

“That’s important.”

So was the victory, which set up a big finish to the final week for the Blue Knights.

They’ll host both second-place teams battling them for the league title, starting with Sem’s Senior Day at Klassner Field on Monday against 9-1-1 Lake-Lehman. Then it’s on to a game at Wyoming Area, which is 14-1-1 overall and right behind Sem in the battle for the top seed in the upcoming District 2 Class A playoffs.

“Some of us were talking about next week and how big that is,” Wesneski said. “Monday’s Senior Night, that’s big for our seniors. I’m really proud of us as a team. We’re able to drop back on defense, it’s really big for us.”

It was just as big, though, to get over a couple of difficult defeats that could have been a downer for the rest of Sem’s season.

“We started over the weekend by losing to two of the best teams in the country,” Klassner said. “We could have won both of those. We know we have to find something. Basically, to win the division, you’ve got to be undefeated. We are playing Lehman and Wyoming Area next week.

“We try to peak them for this time of year.”

Coughlin 3, Crestwood 1

Jolene Ulichney carried the Crusaders to another win with three goals against Crestwood, keeping Coughlin alive in the race with Wyoming Valley West for the top seed in the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.

Abby Davis scored the only goal for the Comets in the second half.

Wyoming Area 4, Honesdale 1

Lauren Parente scored twice, Cassidy Orzel had a goal and two assists and the Warriors remained right behind Sem in the WVC Division 1 title race and fight for the top seed in the upcoming District 2 Class A playoffs.

Kari Melberger also finished with a pair of assists as Wyoming Area improved to 9-1-1 in the WVC and to 13-1-1 overall.Score: Wyoming Area 4 Honesdale 1

Brooke Gardas scored for the Hornets with 12:42 to play to break the shutout.

Hanover Area 0, Berwick 0, OT

Berwick and Hanover Area ended in a scoreless tie thanks to a stellar 17 save 17 save performance from Jacqueline Nevel on Wednesday.

Nevel’s effort kept the Bulldogs in the game, allowing them to finish in a tie.

Lake-Lehman 2, Shikallemy 0

Alana Antonello and Kate Roberts scored for the Black Knights in a non-league victory Wednesday.

Lehman goalie Amy Supey saved both shots against her. Roberts assisted on Antonello’s goal 10:23 into the game, and Roberts added the insurance goal with 3:06 to play.

Wyoming Sem 8, Hazleton Area 0

Wyoming Sem`6`2 — 8

Hazleton Area`0`0 — 0

First half — 1. SEM, Alex Wesneski, 28:10; 2. SEM, Aubrey Mytych, 25:03; 3. SEM, Hannah Maxwell (Wesneski), 22:16; 4. SEM, Wesneski 20:45; 5. SEM, Wesneski, 16:34; 6. SEM, Wesneski, 14:15. Second half — 7. SEM, Wesneski (Kelsey Reznick), 22:06; 8. SEM, Wesneski, 20:22.

Shots — SEM 20; HAZ 5. Saves — SEM 5 (Mia Magnotta 5, Grace Aiello 0); HAZ 12 (Jenna Corra 1, Elaina Ashman 11). Penalty corners — SEM 9; HAZ 2.

Coughlin 3, Crestwood 1

Crestwood`0`1 — 1

Coughlin`2`1 — 3

First half — 1. COU, Jolene Ulichney (Abie Sorokas), 20:26; 2. COU, Ulichney, 1:24. Second half — 3. CRE, Abby Davis (Taylor Yeager), 16:48; 4. COU, Ulichney, 2:07.

Shots — CRE 14; COU 10. Saves — CRE 7 (Olivia Novocki); COU 13 (Emily Buraczewski). Penalty Corners — CRE 4; COU 5.

Wyoming Area 4, Honesdale 1

Wyoming Area`3`1 — 4

Honesdale`0`1 — 1

First half — 1. WA, Toni Minichello (Cassidy Orzel), 18:53; 2. WA, Lauren Parente (Kari Melberger), 8:30; 3. WA, Parente (Orzel), 7:37. Second half — 4. WA, Orzel (Melberger), 14:48; 5. HON, Brooke Gardas (Chloe Nicolini), 12:42.

Shots — WA 18; HON 13. Saves — WA 9 (Ellie Glatz); HON 15 (Nicole Miszler). Penalty corners — WA 10; HON 10.

Hanover Area 0, Berwick 0, OT

Berwick`0`0 — 0

Hanover Area`0`0 — 0

Shots — BER 1; HAN 17. Saves — BER 17 (Jacqueline Nevel); HAN 1 (Alyssa Wivell). Penalty corners — BER 3; HAN 14.

Wyoming Seminary midfielder Julia Christian takes a shot against the Hazleton Area goal during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL101218FHSemHaz1.jpgWyoming Seminary midfielder Julia Christian takes a shot against the Hazleton Area goal during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area. Sean McKeag | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Jill Kringe, left, fights for the ball against Wyoming Seminary’s Aubrey Mytych during a WVC field hockey game at Hazleton Area’s Harman Geist Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL101218FHSemHaz2.jpgHazleton Area’s Jill Kringe, left, fights for the ball against Wyoming Seminary’s Aubrey Mytych during a WVC field hockey game at Hazleton Area’s Harman Geist Field. Sean McKeag | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Nina Filler, left, eyes up the ball that Wyoming Seminary’s Hannah Maxwell possesses during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL101218FHSemHaz3.jpgHazleton Area’s Nina Filler, left, eyes up the ball that Wyoming Seminary’s Hannah Maxwell possesses during Thursday’s game at Hazleton Area. Sean McKeag | For Times Leader
Wesneski’s 6 goals spark Blue Knights to rout of Hazleton Area

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski