Emma Staron isn’t one of the biggest offensive threats on the Wilson field hockey team.
But when the Bulldogs were in desperate need of a goal Wednesday night, Staron stepped forward.
Staron scored with 7:06 left in the fourth quarter to break a tie that helped Wilson defeat Manheim Township 5-2 to advance to the District 3 Class 3A championship game for the second time in four years.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (21-1-1) seemed in control of the District 3 3A semifinal game at Gurski Stadium with a 2-0 halftime lead over fourth-seeded Manheim Township (14-5). But the Blue Streaks dominated much of the third quarter and early in the fourth to tie it 2-2.
“We needed to build back the momentum and get our goals back,” Staron said.
Staron, a senior headed to the University at Albany next fall, is the anchor of the Wilson defense that has allowed just 19 goals in 23 games. But she knocked in her eighth goal of the season after Blue Streaks goalie Zoe Caloviras turned away the initial shot by Erika Culp off a penalty corner.
“I got the rebound off the goalie,” Staron said. “We’ve been working on getting those rebounds and getting those goals.”
The victory sends Wilson to the District 3 3A championship game to face defending champion Lower Dauphin Saturday at 3 p.m. at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field.
The Bulldogs seemed well on their way to the final when Culp scored on a breakaway in the first quarter and Caroline Horace scored off an assist from Sydney Stuhl in the second.
But Manheim Township, which lost to Wilson 2-1 during the regular season, battled back in the second half. Brooke Weaver scored midway through the third quarter and assisted on a goal by Brenna Campagna 73 seconds into the fourth to tie it up.
Catherine Wolf prevented Manheim Township from taking the lead by making 11 saves.
“Once we took a timeout, Coach (Kim) Underwood made us refocus,” Culp said. “We weren’t playing our game. As soon as we started passing sooner we knew we could get those goals that we weren’t getting those opportunities before.”
Culp scored an insurance goal, her team-leading 26th of the season, with just under five minutes left and assisted on Horace’s second goal of the game with 3:34 left to seal it.
But it was the goal by Staron that helped the Bulldogs regain their footing and get them back on the path to the championship game.
“Emma was in the right spot and made a great decision with the ball,” Underwood said. “We get good shots off on corners, but we’ve definitely been working on the rebounds.”
Source: Berkshire mont