WRIGHT TWP. — A light snow covered the field as Wyoming Seminary warmed up.
By the end of the game, small chunks of ice littered the turf while a finger-freezing cold became nastier with each breeze.
But freezing slush and frigid temperatures didn’t do much to cool off the unbeaten Blue Knights.
Aubrey Mytych had a hat trick, Kelsey Reznick scored twice with two assists Tuesday and District 2 champion Sem stormed the state playoffs with a 10-1 victory over Tulpehocken in a PIAA Class A field hockey first-round game at snowy Crestwood High School.
“We all agreed before the game started, we were not going to talk about the weather,” Mytych said. “We brought enough gear so that we stayed warm.”
Make that red-hot.
A Blue Knights team ravaged the District 2 playoffs by outscoring its opponents 27-2 over three games came out swinging again.
Julia Christian slid home the game’s first goal just under five minutes in, Mytych scored two goals less than a minute apart and Reznick and Alex Wesneski added goals as the Blue Knights built a 5-0 lead and had the clock running under the sportsmanship rule 1:52 before halftime.
“We were ready to play,” an impressed Sem coach Karen Klassner said. “We needed a game badly. We played very well.”
The onslaught sent the 18-0 Blue Knights into Saturday’s state quarterfinals against New Hope-Solebury, which defeated Lehighton 3-0 in another state opener Tuesday.
The offensive outburst was even more eye-opening on a night where the field became slick enough to the point where some of Sem’s goals, including the first one by Mytych, were guided into the cage rather than slammed.
“But once the slush got off the field, it was great,” Mytych said.
Not so much for Tulpehocken, which broke the shutout when Olivia Klopp scored with 7:17 remaining.
“Our worry was we wouldn’t be able to score much,” Klassner said. “We told them (the Blue Knights) to pack cleats. I don’t think their team did, they were slipping and sliding all over the place. Who would have thought it would snow?
“But we’ve played in snow, rain, sleet.”
By the second half, it was raining goals for Sem.
Mytych scored her third goal 3:43 after intermission, then Reznick, Grace Parsons and Dani Reiser all scored within a four-minute stretch to bury any remaining doubt about the outcome.
That gave Sem its first state playoff win since the school’s 2013 team won the PIAA Class 2A state title.
“I have not made it this far yet in my high school career,” Mytych, a junior, said. “Our mentality is just to play hard. We really wanted to work on playing for the entire game, from start to finish. I thought we did a great job of playing 60 minutes. “
Newport 1, Lake-Lehman 0
Rachel Bohn scored 4:16 into the game and Newport’s defense made it stand up as the returning state semifinalist Black Knights dropped a heartbreaker in a Class A state opener at Milton-Hershey High School.
“I’m always disappointed when we don’t go farther,” Lake-Lehman coach Jean Lipski said. “It’s hard, because unless you win the state championship, your season is going to end with a loss in the state tournament. I’d rather we end on a loss and be here than not make it.”
Lehman made it interesting, creating numerous opportunities throughout the game, including nine penalty corners. But Newport’s gifted defense kept thwarting potential rushes for the Black Knights and goalie Tristan Britcher made seven saves while completing the shutout.
“I thought we had chances,” Lipski said. “They have a very good defense. We tried some of our corners that usually work. We just didn’t get the ball in. That’s how it goes sometimes.
“Just didn’t go in tonight.”
The game was played under snowy and soggy conditions that forced an earlier-scheduled Class 3A state game at the sight between Lower Dauphin and North Allegheny to be moved to a different facility.
“It was a mess the whole time,” Lipski said. “The teams that were supposed to play before us refused to play on the field, they actually moved the game inside to Spooky Nook. It was just unsettling, a tough day.”
The Black Knights, who went 12-2 during the WVC season and played for a fourth straight District 2 championship before making a fourth consecutive trip to the state tourney, finished at 14-4.
“This team accomplished some wonderful goals,” said Lipski, who earned her 500th career victory when the Black Knights upended Holy Redeemer to reach the District 2 title game. “The seniors went to the district finals and to the state playoffs all four years. Losing so many kids from last year’s team, a lot of people felt this would not be one of Lehman’s better years. These kids worked so hard and proved that not to be true.
“This team reached incredible goals.”
PIAA CLASS A FIRST ROUND
Wyoming Seminary 10, Tulpehocken 1
First half — 1. SEM, Julia Christian (Alex Wesneski), 25:04; 2. SEM, Aubrey Mytych (Kelsey Reznick), 18:18; 3. SEM, Mytych (Bari Lefkowitz), 17:21; 4. SEM, Reznick, 16:47; 5. SEM, Wesneski (Cameron Litjens), 1:52. Second half — 6. SEM, Mytych, 26:17; 7. SEM, Reznick, 13:30; 8. SEM, Grace Parsons (Mytych), 11:08; 9. SEM, Dani Reiser, 9:42; 10. TUL, Olivia Klopp, 7:17; 11. SEM, Hannah Maxwell (Reznick), 6:28.
Shots — TUL 4; SEM 18. Saves — TUL 8 (Lydia Bednarczyk); SEM 3 (Mia Magnotta, Jaryah Patterson). Penalty corners — TUL 8; SEM 11.
Newport 1, Lake-Lehman 0
First half — 2. NEW, Rachel Bohn, 25:44.
Shots — LL 7; NEW 3. Saves — LL 2 (Alicia Galasso); NEW 7 (Tristan Britcher). Penalty corners — LL 9; NEW 2.