PLYMOUTH >> There have not been too many upsets in the District 1-AA field hockey playoffs thus far this year as West Chester East entering Tuesday’s semifinal matchup against Mount St Joseph had one of the two.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the chalk plays continued as the second-seeded Mount used a big second-half effort to advance to the championship game with a 4-1 win.
The game was a one-score contest at halftime. It appeared East had weathered the storm as it was significantly outshot and had fewer opportunities than the Magic. The problem for the Vikings, however, was they could n0t sustain enough offensive chances.
“(Mount) came out intense and they did a really nice job of executing on the shots that they had,” West Chester East coach Taylor Shronk said. “We came out slow and even after halftime too (but) we did a great job clearing the ball out especially with how much it was in our circle.”
Mount’s first goal in the first half came off a big blast from Grace Wallis. The second half goals came in a different fashion, as Natalie McNamara was the beneficiary of three fast break goals. Margot Biamon assisted on two of McNamara’s three goals.
“The goals scored in the second half are combination plays whereas the goal in the first half was a blast,” Mount coach Tina Reinprecht said. “You want to have a balance between a big shot that can beat the goalie but you got to have those ball (like the first goal in the second half) we had a two on one for the second goal.”
For East, it will look for a PIAA berth via the playback bracket. The Vikings have played the second and third ranked team in the playoffs so they should be prepared for its next opponent.
“We played a very strong team in (West Chester) Henderson and that kind of gave us a good warm up for getting focused in and moving forward because from now on you’re going to play very talented teams,” Shronk said.
As for the Magic, they will take on a familiar opponent as it will take on the winner of Villa Maria or Merion Mercy both of which are fellow AACA teams.
“I love how the team is playing and we’re beyond thrilled to be in this position,” Reinprecht said. “We haven’t been in the district title in 10 years so we’re thrilled to be here. Our opponent is going to be somebody we know well, someone that we already played twice in the Catholic Academy League and I got to give a shout-out to our league because three of the four teams in the semis are in our league.”
Top Photo: Mount St. Joseph’s Natalie McNamara hits past West Chester East’s Valerie Fay during their District 1-AAA semifinal on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.