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Archive for September 17, 2011

Sept. 17, 2011 — Emmaus (Pa.) 1, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) 0

Today’s Game of the Day
Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) at Emmaus (Pa.)
These are two of the last three teams to have won the PIAA Class AAA championship. They are two of the prime contenders to win this year, and both have had a good run of form despite graduating players of legendary talent the last few years. It could possibly be a preview of the state final.

EMMAUS, Pa. — The inevitability hit sometime after the spontaneous parade from the Zephyr Complex to the Emmaus (Pa.) campus shortly after the Hornets won a 10th PIAA title last November.

The incoming seniors, who were replacing a number of outstanding players and outsized personalities, began to realize that it was not going to be possible to have a better result than an undefeated season and a state title.

“All of us, individually, are more team-oriented this year,” said Emmaus captain Ali Mikelson after helping lead the Hornets to a 1-0 victory over Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) with her all-around play. “This year, we’re focusing on getting more than six players double figures in both goals and assists. That makes our entire team dangerous, because other teams can’t say, ‘If we shut down this one person, we should be OK,’ We want our entire team dangerous.”

What is more dangerous is the approach the Emmaus attack took in trying to win the game. Crushing Hornet pressure in the second half, in part thanks to Mikelson’s play in the center of the park, led to numerous Emmaus corners.

“When she decided to turn it up a notch, the tempo of the game changed,” said Emmaus head coach Susan Butz-Stavin. “The rest of the kids rose to the occasion.”

Emmaus, however, was having no luck on its corners. Passes were being defensed by PM backs Kayla Bixler and Rachel Suter, who were outstanding in front of goalkeeper Karla Mylin.

“We worked very hard on corner defense the last few days getting ready for them,” said Penn Manor assistant coach Lisa McCoy, who with Denise Gobrecht ran the team while head coach Matt Soto served a one-match touchline ban for receiving a red card Friday against Lancaster McCaskey (Pa.). “They worked very, very hard and played a very good game. It could have gone either way.”

But for all the pressure, Emmaus’ breakthrough came on one if the most innocuous plays you’ll ever see.

Entering the 47th minute of play, midfielder Kassidy Green, encircled by blue shirts, tossed a pass to the right wing. Caitlin Bryan stepped into an open space, met the ball with a low backhand sweep, and nestled the ball into the mesh.

“I had my head down when I swung, and I didn’t see anything until Lena Phillips came up to me and said, ‘Good job!’ ” Bryan said. “I knew nobody else was going to get to (Green’s pass), so I stepped into it and hit it as hard as I could.”

“With that kind of shot,” Butz-Stavin said, “it’s difficult for the goalkeeper to anticipate where the ball is going to go. And she put some air under it.”

Penn Manor, to its credit, fought back in the last 10 minutes. The Comets’ Emily McCoy drew iron on one late corner shot, and the Emmaus corner defense unit, led by the steady Mikelson, withstood two more penalty corner chances in the final two minutes.

“What can you say?” Gobrecht said. “They’re 10-time state champions and always have a great program.”

But so does Penn Manor. Emily McCoy and her twin sister Eryn exhibited terrific ball-striking yesterday to go along with a good team defense on corners, and a senior goalie.

It is a formula that might become a familiar one in PIAA Class AAA play this fall.

Penn Manor (5-1) 0-0 — 0
Emmaus (5-0) 0-1 — 1
EMM: Caitlin Bryan (Kassidy Green), fg, 47th
Shots — PM 4, EMM 6. Saves — PM Karla Mylin 5; EMM Meg Mitchell 4.

FULL TIME At the final whistle, Emmaus takes a 1-0 win

59:00 PM PC Mitchell clears her lines with a strong boot

58:09 PM PC Emmaus and Mikelson clear the ball upfield; that was a key play to relieve pressure

58:02 Timeout, Penn Manor; what will the coaching staff do here?

58:00 PM PC and this could another chance to equalize

54:30 PM PC Emily McCoy hits the post on an option-left! Was that the Comets’ chance?

53:00 EMM PC Low cross defensed by Suter, who has had a strong contest

52:00 Emmaus is applying the pressure late but not converting the chances; will the Hornets regret not scoring on this raft of corners in the second term?

51:30 EMM PC A nice hi-lo goes to Pacheco, but cannot get it past Mylin while on the doorstep

50:55 EMM PC Phillips shot cleared by Bixler

49:42 Timeout, Penn Manor

49:42 EMM PC is whistled down on an uncontrolled stick

46:10 EMM GOAL Backhand lift from Caitlin Bryan on a seemingly innocuous play! Emmaus has the lead after solid pressure for the last quarter-hour

44:45 EMM PC Shanked shot almost put in by Carotenuto!

43:00 EMM PC Diagonal pass just misses Teresa Carotenuto at the far post!

42:03 Timeout, Emmaus

40:00 EMM GREEN Ali Mikelson, the skipper, is in the umpire’s book

39:00 EMM PC Play from the opposite wing takes too long to develop and the ball is spirited away by Rachel Suter

37:00 EMM PC Angled shot is blocked down by Mylin

36:00 EMM PC shot blocked down

35:00 EMM GREEN Phillips is booked for an elbow

HALFTIME At the interval, we are goalless. The game has yet to heat up; perhaps it is a function of both teams playing yesterday. Penn Manor, as mentioned before, shut out Lancaster McCaskey (Pa.) yesterday, while Emmaus bested Nazareth (Pa.) Academy

26:00 Emmaus’ Lena Phillips tries a top-corner drag flick in open play and it is saved by PM goalie Karla Mylin; not many forwards would have ever tried that shot, especially under Federation rules

24:00 Both teams poking and prodding, but not applying sustained pressure

18:48 PM PC An option-left play fizzles out

15:50 PM PC Emily McCoy’s laser kicked aside by Mitchell

15:07 PM PC Eryn McCoy’s push shot is easily steered aside by GK Meg Mitchell

10:40 Emmaus middie Zoey Pacheco just misses the cage!

8:45 EMM PC Jessica Unger’s defensed by Kayla Bixler

8:00 Emmaus has a break upfield but the ball is fumbled over the end line

7:00 PM PC Wall pass leads to a shot whistled down for an uncontrolled stick

2:00 EMM PC Allison Mikelson’s shot was stopped by the PM flyer

0:00 The game is on

0:00 Emmaus is in the white tops with green kilts, while Penn Manor is in the all-navy kits with white numbers

PREGAME One notable absence today: PM coach Matt Soto, who was sent off during yesterday’s 7-0 win over Lancaster McCaskey (Pa.). He is observing the match from the football press box adjacent to the hockey pitch (which is apparently not contravening the letter of the law)

PREGAME Welcome to Memorial Field on the campus of Emmaus (Pa.) for this interconference match between the host Hornets and Penn Manor