Slowly but surely, the Elizabethtown Area High School field hockey team is making strides. In 2018, it took the Lady Bears nearly half the season to get a victory. Through the first six games of 2019, they’ve already captured two. Two more wins, and Elizabethtown passes last season’s total entirely.
The team hosted Lampeter-Strasburg at Jane Hoover Field on Thursday, Sept. 5. Things were even early on; after junior Ema Hollinger scored seven minutes into the game for the Pioneers, Lady Bears senior Mackenzie Hammaker tied it up at 1-1 right around the midway point of the first half, a score which held for a good chunk of the period.
However, a goal from senior Julia Smecker with exactly nine minutes left in the first gave L-S a lead it would not relinquish. The Pioneers later scored on two corners late in the half, the first from senior Julz Garber and the second from senior Bella Howells after time expired, to go into the break up 4-1.
Junior Chloe Blantz scored 33 seconds into the second half as well, and a penalty shot from junior Daisy Frank a few minutes later was enough to ice it for L-S. The Pioneers would add two fastbreak goals from sophomores Kelly Hostetter and Alexa Turner down the stretch for an eventual 8-1 win.
Despite the defeat, sophomore goalkeeper Alaina Telenko was terrific for the Lady Bears, finishing with a whopping 20 saves, 16 of which came in the first half. Blantz led all players with 3 assists for L-S, while seniors Alexis Garrett (3 saves) and Jocelyn Branco (1 save) split time in the net.
Elizabethtown took part in a four-team tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Milton Hershey, alongside Shippensburg and Newport. The Lady Bears took on the Spartans in the first game, one that went to wire-to-wire without any goals. Milton Hershey outshot Elizabethtown 5 to 1 but was unable to find the net thanks to the efforts to Telenko (9 saves). Meanwhile, Isabella Hile (3 saves) was able to keep the Lady Bears the bay as well.
After a scoreless overtime, the two teams went to 1-on-1 shootouts in lieu of a second OT period. Milton Hershey was able to get one shot past Telenko but failed during the other four attempts. Hammaker, on the other hand, popped in two goals for the Lady Bears to give them a 2-1 victory, their first of the season.
The Lady Bears went on to face Newport in the finals after the Buffaloes defeated Shippensburg 7-0 in the other opening game. It was much of the same for them this time around, as Newport cruised to another 7-0 win, taking advantage of a depleted Elizabethtown team missing a handful of regular players to injury.
Newport’s defense held the Lady Bears to no shots on goal, and the Buffaloes saw five different players score on 25 shots. Senior Rachel Bohn and junior Sophia Shoemaker each had 2 goals to lead the team, while senior Emily Kline, junior Amiyah Priebe and sophomore Kimberly Kaufell also found the net. Telenko finished with 18 saves for Elizabethtown.
Finally, the Lady Bears hosted Cocalico on Tuesday, Sept. 10. They got the scoring advantage early on after Hammaker connected with junior Sophie Brinkman off a corner 10 minutes into the game. Despite several pushes from the Eagles, it was all that Elizabethtown needed.
Cocalico would go on to outshoot the Lady Bears 13 to 6, shutting them out entirely in the second half. But Telenko’s 13 saves kept the Eagles at bay, which was enough to give Elizabethtown the 1-0 victory. Senior Summer Haldeman finished with 5 saves for Cocalico.
Elizabethtown (2-4) is scheduled to go on the road to Garden Spot on Thursday, Sept. 12, followed by a return home to face Manheim Central on Monday, Sept. 16.