CAERNARVON >> Donegal’s high-powered attack, led by talented sophomores MacKenzie Alessie and Amanda Beck, proved too much for Mount St. Joseph in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class AA field hockey playoffs at Twin Valley High School on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
The two combined for eight of the Indians 10 goals as Donegal, the District 3 champs, cruised to a 10-1 win over the Magic.
“We fell behind so fast that I think it was a bit of a shock,” said Magic coach Tina Reinpecht. “We knew we were coming up against a very talented team with some girls that could score in bunches. We just didn’t respond the way we needed to.”
The Magic had some early chances, forcing the first corner of the game, and getting some wide open shots. Unfortunately, shots sailed wide, or were turned away by a couple of spectacular saves by Donegal goalie Katie Jean.
Having weathered the early pressure unscathed, the Indians went to work, going up by a score of 6-0 before Mount notched it’s only score of the game. Riley Mulligan finally got the Magic on the board, with an assist to Natalie McNamara.
Donegal added another four scores in the second half to round out the score. The Indians move on to a re-match of last year’s Class AA semis against Mount’s AACA rival Villa Maria, a 5-1 winner over Selinsgrove in the second game of the doubleheader at Twin Valley.
But for the Magic, the season, its first in Class AA under the new classification, comes to a close.
“We were a Class AAA school up until this year, and had our share of success,” said Reinpecht. “So we were used to that. But watching AA over the years, we learned that there really isn’t that much difference in the quality of play.”
Ultimately, the new classifications meant more teams getting a chance to play deeper into the post season.
“It shows the strength of our league that we still had three teams playing this late in the state tournament,” said Reinpecht. “Villa and Merion Mercy are both still playing, and while it can be tough to play the same team 2-3 times in a year, it also means we’re all seeing better field hockey. Anything that makes for better hockey can only be a good thing.”