Lake-Lehman coach Kelly Adamshick stood inside the lines the last time the Black Knights made it this far.
Adamshick, then Spencer, was a senior forward for Lake-Lehman during its PIAA spring girls soccer runner-up run in 1998. On Tuesday, she’ll lead the Black Knights for a chance to return to Hershey for the Class 2A state championship.
“To be a part of it as a player and now as a coach, it’s simply crazy,” Adamshick said.
Lake-Lehman will face two-time defending state champion Trinity (Camp Hill) in the semifinal at Hamburg High School. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
Many of the Black Knights spent the eve of the big game supporting their Wyoming Valley Conference sistren at the Senior Girls Soccer All-Star game.
“Back then, it was the same situation,” Adamshick said. “We had an awesome team. We had a great group of friends (who) hung out together. Same type of situation. That’s how these girls are.”
Lake-Lehman (21-1) made it this far in an extraordinarily nail-biting fashion. It’s debunked the unified theory of soccer trends. The Black Knights allowed the first goal in four of its six playoff games only to win each time.
They recovered from early setbacks twice against WVC powerhouse Holy Redeemer in the postseason – first for a conference title and then again in the district semifinal. Loyalsock scored in the first minute against them in a chaotic 4-3 PIAA first-round victory. In the quarterfinal, a resilient Saint Basil’s Academy went ahead in the 20th minute.
To knock off the Panthers, MacKenzie Love scored her 46th goal of the year to even the score. Amanda Ayers made the best of a brilliant Paige Motovidlak long ball for the game-winning goal. Her sister Stephanie made several key stops to secure the 2-1 victory.
“They had a ball on the bus ride home,” Adamshick said. “They took it all in. They want more. You can see it in them. They want to win this, just to see the enjoyment that they get out of it.”
Standing in their way is a very strong Trinity team that won the past two Class A titles and 10 straight PIAA games. The Shamrocks, however, are playing with their third-string goalkeeper who has little experience aside from subbing in late in Saturday’s quarterfinal. Still, the ‘Rocks prevailed 0-0 (5-3 PKs) against District 4 champ Montoursville.
Trinity defeated Berwick 2-0 in a hard-fought first-round game in 2012. In that game, the Bulldogs’ defense posed problems for the heavily favored Shamrocks.
With little scouting of Trinity’s style of play, Adamshick is confident her team’s depth and experience playing different types of offenses this postseason will bode well for them Tuesday.
“Our girls go into the game with an open mind,” she said. “They don’t expect anything. That gives them an opportunity to change. We can change from more offensive to defense game. Everyone knows the game of soccer.”
Lake-Lehman is on an 18-game winning streak. Trinity has won its past 10 games.