WHITEHALL — Oley Valley opens every field hockey season with great expectations.
So even though the Lynx had just one senior on the roster this season, coach Tiffany Cappellano and her players weren’t surprised to be playing in Saturday’s PIAA Class 1A championship game against three-time defending state champion Wyoming Seminary.
But the experienced Blue Knights proved to be too much of challenge for the youthful Lynx at Whitehall High School as Wyoming Seminary defeated Oley Valley 6-0 to earn a PIAA-record fourth straight state title.
“When these girls sign up to play Oley Valley field hockey they see the success of the teams before them and that’s something that they strive to do,” Cappellano said “We want to make sure that we continue to build on the successes of this year but definitely not forget this game.”
Emma Watchilla scored three goals to lead Wyoming Seminary (21-2) over the Lynx (24-3) in the state championship game for the second time in three years. It was Oley Valley’s third loss in the state finals in the last six years and their fifth runner-up finish since winning a second state title in 2000.
Although it was a rough ending to the season, sophomore Morgan Snyder said she expects the game to serve as a great starting point for next season.
“We’re going to keep this loss in the back of our minds and use it as motivation to come back even better and stronger for next season,” Snyder said. “We’re really excited for next season. This team is so amazing to play with and I love everybody.”
Izzy Pisano scored the first of her two goals with 5:42 left in the first half to give Wyoming Seminary a 1-0 lead. Watchilla scored twice in the last three minutes of the second quarter, the second with no time left, to give the Blue Knights a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Lynx, who had allowed only 15 goals in 26 games, couldn’t slow the Blue Knights in the second half. Ella Barbacci scored a goal to go with two assists and helped Wyoming Seminary keep Oley Valley off the scoreboard with two defensive saves.
It was a tough ending for senior goalie Cassidy Drobek and the rest of the Lynx, who two weeks earlier had captured the District 3 Class 1A title.
“I’m so proud of my team,” Snyder said. “I think we got farther than anybody expected us to. We worked our butts off all season and I’m just so proud of all of them.”
Cappellano, who played on Oley Valley’s 1997 state championship team, also said she was proud of her young team. But because the players accomplished so much this year and because they wear the Oley Valley uniform, the expectations will be great again next season.
“We are not going to forget about this,” Cappellano said. “We’re going to talk about this a lot and we’re going to make sure that we use this as a place to start from for next season. When we wake up tomorrow that’s what we’ve got to start thinking about is next season.”
Source: Berkshire mont