A competitive season continues for the Elizabethtown Area High School field hockey team, in spite of the depth chart taking a hit due to injuries. Senior defender Alyssa Hamilton is out for the year with a meniscus tear. The same goes for junior midfielder Brooke Horst, who dislocated her kneecap against Lampeter-Strasburg on Thursday, Sept. 5. Senior forward Emily Epps is sidelined with a bone bruise as well, though she hopes to be able to return this year.
Despite the losses, the Lady Bears are fighting tooth and nail in all of their games, even with a thin bench. Unfortunately for them, their hard work as of late did not yield any wins, though both of their recent games wound up going into overtime.
Elizabethtown went on the road to Garden Spot on Thursday, Sept. 12, in what turned out to be a crazy game. Midway through the first half, Spartans freshman Brielle Moyer scored via an assist from sophomore Erin Gonzalez to put her team up 1-0. From there, the two sides were even, as both defenses locked down on the opposing offense. A heavy rainstorm early in the second half contributed by making the grass field tough to navigate.
The Lady Bears spent much of the second trying to tie the score. Finally, late in the game, they pulled off a miracle. With time running down, sophomore Hailey Mertz fired a pass off a corner try to senior Mackenzie Hammaker, who sent a hard shot directly toward the Garden Spot goal. Amongst a crowded group of Spartans, junior Alisia Alvarez was somehow able to deflect the ball into the net for the equalizer with just over 10 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
However, the Lady Bears couldn’t finish things off. Just over three minutes into OT, Gonzalez took a breakaway pass from junior Karynne Henry and got behind the Elizabethtown defense. She was able to get the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Alaina Telenko for the 2-1 Garden Spot victory. It was not without controversy; just after the shot, Gonzalez made contact with Telenko, sending both players tumbling to the ground. However, the officials allowed the goal to stand.
Telenko finished with 4 saves in the net. Sophomore Brynna Kelly stopped 2 shots for the Spartans as well.
The team returned home to Jane Hoover Field on Monday, Sept. 16, to take on Manheim Central. The Barons are currently an early favorite to potentially win the Section Two title after an upset victory over Donegal, the reigning champs in the section as well in districts and states in Class 2A, but Elizabethtown hung with them every step of the way.
The two sides combined for just one shot on goal through the first 15 minutes of the game. Manheim Central had more chances later on, including back-to-back corner tries, but the Lady Bears defense deterred each attack, and the game remained scoreless at the break.
During the second half, both teams had goals waved off at multiple points. Despite hard offensive pushes late, neither could break the ice, and the game went to overtime. There, the Barons largely controlled the pace, sending numerous shots toward Telenko, who made some outstanding diving saves to keep her team alive.
Alas, she couldn’t hold out forever. With just over a minute remaining, Manheim Central senior Lexi Hosler was able to break through and get the game-winner, allowing the Barons to escape with the 1-0 victory.
Telenko finished with 17 saves overall, and both Mertz and sophomore Kayla Hoffman (who’s gotten a chance to see playing time following all the injuries) had defensive saves as well. Senior Mikayla Regan stopped the Lady Bears’ two shots on goal for the Barons.
Now 2-6 on the year, Elizabethtown was scheduled for two road games in Section Two at Solanco on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and McCaskey on Friday, Sept. 20. The Lady Bears will then host Donegal on Tuesday, Sept. 24.