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Nov. 19, 2017 — Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) 2, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 1

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Paityn Wirth has had an incredible last six weeks in her favorite sport.

The junior was part of a U.S. indoor women’s national field hockey team which won its way into the FIH Indoor World Cup for the first time in history. And today, Wirth engineered another series of firsts: a field hockey championship for Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) with a 2-1 win over Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.).

“Which one’s better?” she repeated a post-game question while holding on tight to the PIAA championship trophy, then she said, “Well, I’ve been with these girls since middle school.”

Wirth showed her array of attack skills throughout the game, but her most important act was her penalty corner goal in the seventh minute of the game, one which gave Greenwood the early lead and got the sizable student section into the game immediately.

“The support of the fans and my teammates were great, and I couldn’t have done it without them,” Wirth said.

“What can you say about Paityn Wirth? She took over the game, which we thought might happen,” said Wyoming Seminary head coach Karen Klassner. “My hat’s off to Greenwood, and Kent really got them ready to play today.”

The game-winner came in the final minute of the first half, as Leah Bryner picked up a Leah Fleisher rebound and put the ball over the goal line.

“To give up a goal like that was not good in the scheme of things,” Klassner said. “And that was critical for them; it was the game-winning goal.”

From then on, it was 30 minutes of tense play, one of many new experiences for head coach Kent Houser on an historic day. He has coached softball, boys’ basketball, and field hockey teams at the Perry County school for the past 34 years, but this was his first state final. And as for his coaching philosophy, he kept it simple.

“We wanted to come out and play our game,” Houser said. “We don’t have to play a perfect game; just play well. Our defense has been outstanding this entire playoff run, and it was again today.”

For Wyoming Seminary, a team which has won six previous state titles, the loss must be understood in context. This Blue Knights team is not a product of that enormously talented Lackawanna-Luzerne hockey-playing cohort from the mid-to-late 2000s which included the likes of Olympians Kelsey Kolojejchick and Kat Sharkey.

“What people lose sight of is that our kids haven’t been in a state championship, either,” Klassner said. “They come from a program with such high expectations”

The team that walked off the field yesterday will remain largely intact next fall.

“The thing is, there are more than 300 teams in Pennsylvania, and not many teams ever get here,” Klassner said. “Our goal will be to get back here next year.”

WYOMING SEMINARY (22-3) 1 0 — 1
GREENWOOD (22-5) 2 0 — 2
G: Paityn Wirth, pc, 7th minute
WS: Aubrey Mytych, pc, 26th
G: Leah Bryner (Leah Fleisher), pc, 30th
Shots — WS: 6; G: 11. Saves — WS: Mia Magnotta 9; G: Kelsey Sheaffer 5.

FULL TIME And it’s a well-deserved first state championship for head coach Kent Houser

FULL TIME The horn sounds with Greenwood coming out a 2-1 winner

56:00 WS PC Reznick defensed!

53:14 GHS GREEN Wirth off for two minutes for the push

52:28 Timeout, Wyoming Seminary

49:00 GHS PC First pass to the extreme left and put it into the mixer; Sem clears

45:30 GHS PC Nice stop by Magnotta!

44:30 GHS PC Mistrapped and sent the other way

43:00 WS GREEN Kelsey Reznick for delay of game

42:15 WS PC Shot defensed by Wirth

40:00 A light rain is falling; this could make the turf less bumpy

33:00 WS PC The Knights are peppering Sheaffer and have her down, but Sem cannot unleash the telling shot

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Greenwood is certainly on the front foot and is playing unafraid; let’s see how Wyoming Seminary responds to that late goal

HALFTIME The horn sounds with Greenwood leading 2-1

29:17 GHS GOAL Bryner with a rebound off a Leah Fleisher feed and the Wildcats lead 2-1

25:24 WS PC and GOAL Aubrey Mytych gets a rebound and makes no mistake; game tied 1-1

24:00 WS PC Ends on a mistrap

22:30 GHS PC High shot is trapped at the right post but cannot get a good enough attempt at goal

20:15 GHS PC Bryner defensed by Wesneski

15:00 GHS PC Bryner’s shot is wide

14:35 GHS PC Wirth’s wicked backhander is tipped wide!

14:00 GHS PC Angled shot by Sidney Hicks is saved

11:15 WS PC The shotgun comes from a cluster at the edge of the circle but Greenwood marks effectively

10:30 WS PC 1-up is blocked wide

8:44 Timeout, Wyoming Seminary

8:12 GHS PC Wirth defensed by Alexis Wesneski; Bryner’s follow-up is blocked

6:57 GHS PC and GOAL Wirth with a 1-up and finds the corner! Greenwood leads 1-0

5:00 WS PC Sem tries the shotgun; yields a good save from Kelsey Sheaffer but a follow shot is blown for third-party

2:19 GHS PC Leah Bryner’s 1-up is saved by Mia Magnotta

1:12 GHS PC Paityn Wirth shoots wide!

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary is in the all-navy with white trim; Greenwood is in the white with royal kilts and yellow numbers

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the turf, temperatures around 35 degrees

PREGAME The intangibles to know about this particular game surround the coaches. Wyoming Seminary’s Karen Klassner is one of only about a dozen members of the 600-win club, and she has six previous PIAA titles. Greenwood head coach Kent Houser has more than 1,000 wins in field hockey, softball, and boya’ baksetball, but today is the first PIAA state final he has ever coached

PREGAME The player to watch for Greenwood is junior Paityn Wirth, who missed a handful of games in mid-season helping the United States win a World Cup berth by winning the Pan American Indoor Cup last month

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary may not have the individual talent as it did a decade ago wtih future Olympians Kat Sharkey and Kelsey Kolojejchick, but if there is one player to watch, it’s Alicia Carr, the Syracuse-bound senior

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary is 22-2 this season; Greenwood is 21-5

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Allentown Whitehall (Pa.) for the PIAA Class A championship game between District 2 champion Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), and District 3 bronze-medalist Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.)


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