Despite a 6-10 record, the Elizabethtown Area High School field hockey team has plenty to be happy about this season. The Lady Bears have doubled their win total from 2018, and the majority of their games have been extremely competitive. That was evident in their recent slate of games, where they picked up two close wins and took the Section Two leader to the limit.
The team hosted Garden Spot on Wednesday, Oct. 2, looking to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss from earlier in the year. The Lady Bears controlled the pace for most of the first half and finally broke through just before halftime off a corner try, with senior Emily Epps connecting with junior Alisia Alvarez for a goal.
The Spartans tried to rally several times in the second half but were unable to get a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Alaina Telenko, who stopped all 5 of their shots on goal. Thus, Elizabethtown earned a 1-0 victory. Sophomore Garden Spot goalie Bryna Kelly finished with 3 saves.
The Lady Bears then went on the road Friday, Oct. 4, to Manheim Central, currently in first place in Section Two. The Barons escaped with a 1-0 overtime win in the first meeting between the two teams, and it was just as even this time around. Both sides combined for just four shots on goal in a defensive first half.
Manheim Central’s defense increased the pressure in the second half, ultimately holding Elizabethtown to just 2 shots on goal, both stopped by senior Mikayla Regan. Meanwhile, the Barons had 11 shots on goal during the second half, only deterred by some fantastic saves by Telenko (14 saves).
However, with just under five minutes left, senior Lily Spiel sent a breakaway shot toward the Lady Bears’ goal. Telenko deflected it, but junior Jenna Lutz was able to collect the rebound and find the net for the go-ahead score. The Barons held on from there for another 1-0 victory. On the plus side, Elizabethtown held Manheim Central scoreless in three of the four regulation halves between the two games.
Finally, the Lady Bears returned home on Monday, Oct. 7, for their Senior Night game against Solanco. With heavy rain in the area, both offenses took a while to get going. Senior Mackenzie Hammaker was the first to score, giving Elizabethtown the lead midway through the first half. Junior Mariah Stoltzfus tied it up for the Golden Mules off a pass from fellow junior Mylee Smith shortly thereafter.
Early in the second half, Alvarez gave the Lady Bears a 2-1 lead that held for most of the second half. However, with just over two minutes to go, Solanco came through with a goal from senior Keirra Laird via an assist from sophomore Rebecca Bruno, sending the game to overtime.
Exactly six minutes into the extra period, Hammaker sent the Mules home by firing a shot into the net for Elizabethtown, giving the team a 3-2 victory. Telenko finished with 4 saves for the Lady Bears. Junior Kimmy Beacham was clutch for Solanco, stopping 12 of Elizabethtown’s 16 shots on goal.
Now 6-10 on the year, the Lady Bears were scheduled to finish out the season with a home game vs. McCaskey on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and an away tilt at Donegal on Thursday, Oct. 10.