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Sept. 15, 2018 — Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 3, Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) 2

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. — Emma O’Neill’s penalty stroke routine is the same as the best stroke-takers: know where you’re going to shoot before you go to the penalty spot, then execute.

“I back up one step, and wish for the best,” said the junior for Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.).

O’Neill’s stroke with under six minutes remaining in the game gave the host Falcons  a 3-2 win over defending PIAA Class A champions Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.).

The winning goal came against the run of play, which was very much carried by Greenwood the last 20 minutes of regulation. The Wildcats not only were able to come back from a two-goal deficit on the speed and stickwork from indoor national teamer Paityn Wirth, but had at least three gilt-edged chances to get more.

The most spectacular of these came in the 50th minute, when a rebound from a lifted shot met up with a Greenwood player at the left post a la Jamie Dwyer in the 2014 FIH World Cup. But the aerial ball couldn’t be guided into the yawning goal cage.

“We had some great opportunities,” said Greenwood head coach Kent Houser, “And that’s what we didn’t do in the first half. We weren’t playing badly, but we weren’t playing particularly well.”

Lower Dauphin, as is its wont, had the game to itself the first 37 minutes because of good possession hockey and the corner threat that is Audrey Domovich. The back has an extremely strong shot, and, whether it is a direct strike or a designed pass play (as it was to O’Neill for the opener), the idea for this team is to get a good start and manage the game.

“We want to come out with a bang to set the tone for the game,” O’Neill said.

“We have a lot of talent,” said LD head coach Linda Kreiser. “But it’s all in how we get all of that to mesh and how we put all those pieces together. And finishing; it’s hard to finish against teams with strong defenders, like Palmyra and Hershey.”

For Greenwood, this game was the first loss the team had suffered since a Nov. 1, 2017 loss to Oley (Pa.) Valley shortly before the Wildcats’ magical run through the Class A state tournament. The title win was a sensation in the towns of Millerstown (pop. 673) and Liverpool (pop. 955), the two villages whose populace feeds into the high school.

“First thing we had to do this season was forget about the fact that we are a state champion,” Houser said. “And focus on what we have to do day to day. We had some adversity, but we stepped up and almost pulled it out.”

GREENWOOD (4-1) 0 2 — 2
LOWER DAUPHIN (5-1-1) 1 2 — 3
LD: Emma O’Neill (Audrey Domovich), pc, 9th minute
LD: Maddie Gaughan, fg, 37th
G: Leah Bruner, pc, 44th
G: Haley Womer (Paityn Wirth), pc, 47th
LD: O’Neill, ps, 54th
Shots — G: 6; LD: 10. Saves — G: Kelsey Sheaffer 7; LD: Brandelynn Herbough 4.


POSTGAME The question is, will Greenwood be able to take those missed chances at the end, and use them as motivation for the rest of the year?

POSTGAME This has to be a confidence – inducing win for the Falcons, who played an excellent team game against a state champion

FULL TIME At the siren, Lower Dauphin takes a 3-2 win

59:05 Greenwood rounds the corner again but the ball is shot just wide! That was the chance to tie!

55:15 A wayward LD aerial is jumped on by Greenwood; they round the corner but cannot get it past the goalkeeper

53:14 LD PS Emma O’Neill pings the goal board and the Falcons lead 3-2! What a game!

53:10 LD PC Domovich’s shot is stopped by Sheaffer; rebound buried under the goalkeeper and a stroke is called!

49:46 TIMEOUT LOWER DAUPHIN Falcons need to change things here; Greenwood has woken up after more than a half sleepwalking

49:40 Wirth steals the ball from a Lower Dauphin back, feeds the inner channel for a high shot that is almost guided in by a Greenwood player at the back post! That would have been SportsCenter-worthy had it gone in!

46:06 GHS PC and GOAL Wirth’s laser is sticked down and then pushed in by Haley Womer! It’s all tied up!

45:30 GHS PC Option left finds Wirth, who is tackled; will rerack

43:13 GHS PC and GOAL Leah Bruner with a low seeing-eye flick that finds net! Lower Dauphin still leads 2-1

42:40 GHS PC Save by Herbough!

42:05 TIMEOUT LOWER DAUPHIN

37:16 GHS PC Wirth’s 1-Up saved by Brandelynn Herbough

36:01 LD GOAL The ball falls to Maddie Gaughan, who has enough time to order a walking taco from the concession stand before giving LD a 2-0 lead

35:00 LD PC Wirth defenses the first shot; follow-up is batted away — no call?

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Makes you wonder how Lower Dauphin didn’t have better results this year against Rt. 422 rivals Palmyra and Hershey

HALFTIME As much as LD has had the ball, Greenwood has to feel fortunate to be down just one goal

HALFTIME The siren sounds as Lower Dauphin takes a 1-0 lead into the interval

28:13 Wirth gets into the circle; nice tackle prevents a good shot

23:56 TIMEOUT, GREENWOOD

23:30 Pegram with a shot from the left wing; Sheaffer is equal

20:00 Lower Dauphin has seen almost all of the ball the last 10 minutes, although Paityn Wirth almost got a corner through some fantastic dribbling skills

15:30 LD PC Domovich with a backhander, but a raised ball on the first shot

12:10 LD PC Raised ball by Sienna Pegram, and the Wildcats get a free hit coming out

11:20 LD PC Kelsey Sheaffer saves Domovich’s ping

10:50 LD PC A stick obstruction gives the Falcons a redo

10:30 LD PC Obstruction gives the Falcons a re-rack

9:00 LD PC and GOAL Emma O’Neill, the unmarked corner inserter, tips in the Audrey Domovich blast! Lower Dauphin takes a 1-0 lead

6:00 A lot of poking and prodding thus far; Lower Dauphin with the possession edge

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Lower Dauphin is in the white with blue numbers; Greenwood is in the royal blue with yellow trim

PREGAME The teams are warming up under cloudy skies, humid with temps around 75

PREGAME I’ll refer you to yesterday’s blog entry to preview this match

PREGAME Hello and welcome to Kreiser-Hallman Field in Hummelstown, Pa. for this game between the Greenwood Wildcats and Lower Dauphin Falcons

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