Field Hockey: Emmaus escapes Methacton’s upset bid in PIAA 3A opener

A senior, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference MVP glanced at the scoreboard and told herself she wouldn’t let her outstanding scholastic career end in the opening round of the PIAA postseason.

Star player Melea Weber and the powerhouse Emmaus field hockey team will indeed play another day.

Weber scored the 100th goal of her career with 7:33 remaining in overtime and the Green Hornets survived Methacton 3-2 in a Class 3A thriller at Emmaus High School’s Memorial Field.

“This possibly being my last game entered my mind for a second,” said Weber, a University of North Carolina recruit.

“But I realized I needed to be proactive and not reactive, and actually do something to not let this be my last game. It feels good No. 100 was so important. We really battled tonight and I’m really proud of my teammates.”

Emmaus (23-1) moves on to meet Wyoming Valley West (District 2 champ) in Saturday’s 4A quarterfinal round at a site and time to be determined.

Emmaus’ Emmy Horner controls the ball against Methacton’s Dylan Oszeyczik in a Class 3A first-round field hockey playoff game Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, at Emmaus High School. (Amy Shortell/The Morning Call)

Coach Sue Butz-Stavin’s squad flipped a switch in the fourth quarter and overtime to overcome the Warriors, who got goals from Elena Weychert and Lea DeWan.

Trailing 2-1, Emmaus tied the contest with 5:39 remaining. Senior Sarah Schaffer was in the right spot at the right time, and on a third chance, she angled a shot into the cage. Two defensive saves preceded the tying tally.

The Green Hornets, who were outplayed in the third period and early in the final quarter, swarmed the offensive end through the final stages of regulation and overtime. That pressure eventually resulted in Weber’s winner.

Weber said she liked her team’s chances in the 7-on-7 overtime session.

“We practice 7v7 every day and once it went to OT I knew our seven aside team is so strong,” said Weber, whose winner was assisted by Autumn Kernechel. “We had so many opportunities, we were so close to scoring in the final minutes. We took our opportunity in overtime when it was there.”

Weber also scored the game’s first goal.

“Some of our kids showed they could handle the pressure,” Butz-Stavin said, “and some the anxiety level got a little too high. We had to lean on our seniors. Melea came through. She wanted that 100th goal; she didn’t want to end her career stuck on 99.”

Methacton (19-5-1), the No. 5 seed from District 1, played solid throughout and particularly well in the third period.

Emmaus is now 3-0 vs. Methacton over the last three state postseasons. The Hornets eliminated the Warriors in 2022 (4-1) and 2021 (2-1).

Senior captain Emma Cari came up clutch in the cage for Emmaus, steering away several scoring chances in the third period and three shots during a 20-second span in the first period. Cari was credited with seven saves in total.

“They’re all exciting, it doesn’t matter what round it is,” said Butz-Stavin, whose program has won 35 straight District 11 titles and owns 14 state championships overall.

“Absolutely, tonight was a good thing for us to be tested. We have things to work on tomorrow. We turned the ball over and made some mistakes we normally don’t make. That’s the pressure of competition. We hung in there. It was survival.”


Emmaus 3, Methacton 2 (OT)

Methacton 0 0 1 1 0 – 2 
Emmaus 1 0 0 1 1 – 3 

Methacton: Goals: Elena Weychert, Lea DeWan. Assist: DeWan. SOG: 11. Saves: Maddy McKenney 4.

Emmaus: Goals: Melea Weber 2, Sarah Schaffer. Assist: Autumn Kernechel 2. SOG: 10. Saves: Emma Cari 7.

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