WHITEHALL >> It took just two minutes and 35 seconds for Emmaus to score in its PIAA Class AAA state playoff opener against Methacton Wednesday night. That goal proved to be all the Hornets needed in a 3-0 win at Whitehall High School.
Emmaus, the District 11 champ, advances to face Coughlin, the District 2 winner, Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Coughlin won its opening round game against the District 1 fourth-place finisher Central Bucks West, 5-4, Tuesday.
“It’s always disappointing to lose,” Methacton coach Sarah Quintois said, “especially to lose 3-0. I don’t really feel it was an indication of the play. I think we had opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize. They capitalized on their opportunities and that was the big difference in the game.”
The Hornets early lead came on a penalty shot from Meredith Sholder. Sholder went right and beat Methacton goalie Sarah Park for the game’s first goal.
Sholder finished the game with two goals and an assist.
Her second goal came halfway through the first half. Kira Koehler found Sholder in front of the cage for an easy score and a 2-0 Emmaus lead.
“The first goal was an unfortunate situation,” Quintois said. “The next one was a breakaway where they have some dangerous players that we weren’t quite ready for. On the second goal, on the breakaway, I think we were out of position and just didn’t stop the play. (Emmaus) just took advantage of the opportunities and just took good shots. Their game is very quick and they took their opportunities quickly and we didn’t.”
The third and final goal came on a corner halfway through the second half. Sholder swung the ball to Alicia Cooperman, who ripped off a shot which was deflected by Kacie Patton into the back of the cage.
Methacton, the fifth place finisher in District 1, was not able to generate that many shots on offense. The Warriors consistently got the ball deep into the Hornets end, but tested goalkeeper Paige Garloff with just four shots in the entire game.
“We weren’t following our shots,” Quintois said of the offensive struggles. “We just need to follow and get in. We were taking a shot and they were able to clear it out. We weren’t really pressing and keeping the ball in.”
Park, on the other hand, was tested throughout. Methacton’s keeper stopped 13 of the 16 shots she faced including a few highlight-reel saves to keep the Warriors within striking distance.
Despite the first round exit from the state tournament, Methacton knows it had a successful season.
“There is a lot to be proud of,” Quintois said. “I think we progressed a lot this season and especially played well in the playoffs. It was a good opportunity that they earned to be back in states — it’s been seven years. I think they did a lot to earn this opportunity and it’s hard to lose, but we know we lost to a very good team.”
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