HAZLETON — Standing just off the post, Lindsay Payaic found herself in a spot known in field hockey as a “Dogleg.”
As it turned out, she was in perfect position to give Wyoming Area a leg up.
Payaic ripped a tricky crossing shot into the cage in the final minute of the first half and Ellie Glaty and Wyoming Area’s defense made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over Hazleton Area in an early-season field hockey showdown at Harman Geist Field.
“We lost to them in the Stroudsburg Gameday (tournament),” Payaic said. “We learned a lot, about how to face their lines.”
Mainly, the Warriors are learning how to win.
They improved to 2-0 under first-year head coach Erin McGinley, a former player at powerful Wyoming Seminary who took over a Wyoming Area program former coach Chris Comiskey had built into a quality program in the Wyoming Valley Conference before he departed after last season.
The Warriors could easily envision becoming a consistent playoff contender under McGinley.
“It’s a new coach, a new coaching style and different way of learning stuff,” Payaic said. “She explains stuff to us, so you understand it completely. We all transitioned well to her. Everyone likes her.
“She’s a good coach.”
The Warriors seem to have found a pretty good goalie.
Glaty made 13 saves, including a neat kick-away to thwart a Hazleton Area opportunity in front of the goal in the game’s waning moments to preserve the victory and the shutout.
“Ellie had a phenomenal game,” McGinley said. “And she’s a first-year starter with limited experience from last year. She can cover the cage and the circle.”
Payaic made the performance pay off with the game’s lone goal in the final minute of the first half.
Just 40 seconds from halftime, Payaic took a feed from Lauren Parente and angled it toward the opposite post and into the cage for the winner.
“I was at the dogleg and I just shot and I scored,” Payaic said. “We really work together as a unit, as a team. We practice our shooting, and tipping drills, and that’s where a lot of our shots come in.”
Her score wasn’t so much of a tip as it was a change of direction.
“That goal to the opposite post was a beautiful goal,” McGinley said. “There aren’t many goalies that are going to stop that shot.”
The Warriors didn’t get many.
Hazleton Area, last year’s District 2 Class 3A runner-up, was playing its season opener after last week’s rainout and allowed just four shots for the game.
But the Warriors made one of them count.
“We tell the kids all the time,” McGinley said, “opportunties may be few and far between, but we have to take advantage.”
Holy Redeemer 13,
McKenna Dolan scored three goals, Leah Mullery had a goal and two assists and the Royals rolled to a second straight victory by posting another shutout.
Kayla Kruk also chipped in with a goal and two assists and Kat Finnegan finished with a goal and an assist for 2-0 Redeemer.
Pittston Area 1
Izzy Radel scored two goals and assisted on the game’s first score as the defending WVC Divison 1 and District 2 Class A Black Knights opened their season by dominating the Patriots.
Katie Roberts scored twice and added an assist in the second half, while Makayla Adams finished with a goal and two assists.
Lackawanna Trail 2
Maddie Schmaltz scored two goals, one in each half, to lead Wallenpaupack’s victory.
Wyoming Area 1, Hazleton Area 0
First half — 1. WA, Lindsay Payaic (Lauren Parente), 0:40.
Shots — WA 4; HAZ 14. Saves — WA 14 (Ellie Glaty); HAZ 3 (Jenna Corra). Penalty corners — WA 7; HAZ 10.
Holy Redeemer 13, Nanticoke 0
Holy Redeemer`8`5 —`13
First half — 1. (HR) McKenna Dolan (Madison Zulkoski), 24:48; 2. HR, Becky Revitt, 23:41; 3. HR, Jesse Ornoski (Kayla Kruk), 17:10; 4. HR, Kat Finnegan (Leah Mullery), 14:59; 5. HR, Kruk (Fino), 10:24; 6. HR, Alicia Kugler (Caton Fahey), 8:12; 7. HR, Dolan, 2:15; 8. HR, Lexi Fumanti (Kayla Serafin), 1:09. Second half — 9. HR, Mullery (Dolan), 27:20; 10. HR, Dolan, 25:05; 11. HR, Serafin (Kruk), 23:10; 12. HR, Zulkoski (Mullery), 22:00; 13. HR, Tiana Wren (Finnegan), 11:30.
Shots — NAN 1; HR 40. Saves — NAN 19 (Jill Maute); HR 1 (Meredythe Baird). Penalty corners — NAN 0; HR 7.
Lake-Lehman 8, Pittston Area 1
First half — 1. LL, Makayla Adams (Izzy Radel), 27:15; 2. LL, Ava Radel (Madison Klopp), 25:39; 3. LL, Izzy Radel (Lynea Gregory), 7:35. Second half — 4. LL, Izzy Radel (Adams), 26:20; 5. LL, Katie Roberts (Ava Radel), 24:55; 6. LL, Roberts (Adams), 16:07; 7. LL, Gregory (Roberts), 14:14; 8. PA, Alena Carabetta (Gabby Wassel), 2:54; 9. LL, Alana Antonello (Roberts), 0:40
Shots — PA 4; LL 25. Saves — PA 17 (Jess Zaladonis); LL 3 (Alicia Galasso). Penalty corners — PA 2; LL 13.
Wallenpaupack 4, Lackawanna Trail 2
First half — 1. LT, Courtney Dwyer (Lauren Beemer), 28:36; 2. lt, Belle Coleman (Lauren Beemer), 8:21; 3. WAL, Margo DePatie (Alyssa Alexander), 3:18. Second half — 4. WAL, Maddie Schmaltz (Tori Rojos), 26:45; 5. WAL, Rojos, 16:52; 6. WAL, Schmaltz (DePatie), 7:44.
Shots — LT 5; WAL 13. Saves — LT 9 (Sam Baltrusaitis); WAL 3 (Madison Kier). Penalty corners — LT 3; WAL 8.