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Penn Manor holds off Warwick for L-L crown
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
The game plan for Warwick’s field hockey team last Thursday worked.
The goal scoring?
Not so much.
After getting very few scoring opportunities in a 1-0 defeat to Penn Manor just over a week earlier, the Lady Warriors played fairly even with the Comets last Thursday in terms of shots and penalty corners.
Penn Manor, though, scored the game’s only two goals, off the sticks of Brooke DeBerdine and Cassie Kline, and took home the L-L League crown with a 2-0 victory in Millersville.
For the Comets, it was their fourth L-L title in the past five years.
"Credit to Penn Manor’s coaching staff and their players for winning the game," Warwick coach Bob Derr said. "I felt we gave them a good battle and they got through not only the Section, but the League. The L-L League is one of the best in the State, so you can feel really proud of yourself. For us, we’ll lick our wounds and we’ll go back and rebuild and get ready for Tuesday (against Hershey in a District Three Triple-A opening-round game). Our goal now is to win the next game and move on."
To do so, Warwick (15-5-1) will need to get its offense back on track after scoring just one goal in their past two games.
"That’s not good," Derr said. "We’ve got to find a way to put the ball in the cage. We definitely have to do that against Hershey. That’s going to be a battle."
Last Thursday’s game was a scoreless battle until DeBerdine picked up the rebound of her own shot and scored with 13:23 left in the opening half to put the Comets in front.
A couple of minutes later, DeBerdine nearly doubled the advantage when she got free on a breakaway, but Warwick keeper Kailynne Reinoehl was equal to the task.
"Ryno had a good game in the cage," Derr said.
So did Desiree Landis for the Comets, who stopped all five shots she faced in the game. While Warwick equaled Penn Manor in that category, they also had six corners, to the Comets’ nine. More times than not, though, the Lady Warriors couldn’t manage to test Landis on those corners.
"I think what really hurt us tonight was execution of penalty corners. I have to look at the film, but if I’m correct, we got one quality shot on a penalty corner and that was it," Derr said. "We had more (quality) field play shots than we did penalty corner shots, which is a little unusual."
Warwick threatened with a golden opportunity late in the first half, on a nice set-up from Liz Wenger to Lucy Reed, but the shot went a little wide of the right post and Penn Manor took a 1-0 lead to the half.
That same combination created a scoring chance early in the second half, but it was broken up in front of the goal cage by Comet defender Julia Hasircoglu.
Meanwhile, the Lady Warriors’ defense, led by senior Courtney Weaver, limited Penn Manor to no shots through the first 26-plus minutes of the second half.
"Defensively, oh my God, Courtney Weaver just dominates that game inside that defensive end," Derr remarked. "What she does, boy, is just fabulous."
Unfortunately for the Warwick girls, though, Penn Manor got the back-breaker with 3:40 left when Kline’s re-direction of a shot by Rachel Suter on the fifth of Penn Manor’s five second-half corners found the back of the net.
In the final minutes, the Lady Warriors answered with a corner, which was broken up by Kline, and a shot by Hannah Bollinger, but the Comets held on for the shutout.
"I was looking just for us to play a good, strong game and I felt we had that," Derr said. "The game plan worked as far as what we wanted to do, except for the scoring department. I think they can feel proud of themselves. They played a good game."
More L-L FINALS, page B-8