Warwick’s offense erupts in State win over Lady Wildcats
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Warwick field hockey coach Bob Derr has seen plenty of games where his team creates a ton of corners, but scores only one goal.
Tuesday night’s clash against Owen J. Roberts wasn’t one of those.
On a night when the District Three runner-up Lady Warriors generated 14 corners, they got a hat trick from Marleise Emrhein and two goals from Liz Wenger en route to a 5-0 whitewashing of the District One third-place Lady Wildcats in a PIAA State Triple-A first-round game at Penn Manor’s Comet Field.
"That’s awesome for a State game, scoring five and shutting them out," Warwick senior center back Courtney Weaver remarked.
"What a great game," Derr said. "I never expected that kind of explosion on attack, but the girls did extremely well. The offense came on, especially Marleise. She came alive really well tonight, where she was doing a lot more with the ball and getting around their defense."
With the victory, Warwick (19-6-1) advances to face District 11 champ Emmaus (24-0), a 2-0 winner over Downingtown West, in the State quarter-finals this Saturday.
"That will be a tough game to get over," Derr said. "If they keep playing the way they’re doing, we’re going to definitely put a good game on the field."
The Lady Warriors certainly proved to be a tough team to beat on Tuesday night, executing their passing game, cutting hard to the ball and staying a step ahead of Owen J. Roberts’ players.
That contributed to Warwick getting four corners in the opening 10 minutes. They failed to get a shot away on the first three, but on the fourth one, Wenger tipped home a shot by Emrhein, giving the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead on their first shot of the game.
"We executed really well," Derr said. "Our penalty corners were on tonight."
Overall, Warwick generated an 8-1 edge in both shots and corners in the opening half. Later, Emrhein’s shot off a corner was saved by OJR keeper Ally Mooney (5 saves), but Wenger got the rebound, curled and flicked the ball home for a 2-0 lead with 19:45 elapsed.
"If I were to just turn with the ball, the goalie and a defender would have been right on me," Wenger said. "So in order to get space to shoot or find somebody, you need to curl or move back."
Just 1:16 following Wenger’s second goal, Emrhein, who earlier had an assist, got on the scoresheet, knocking a rebound into the back of the cage, making it 3-0 at the half.
"When we got the third, then I knew, ‘OK, it’s going to be tough to overcome a three-goal lead,’" Derr said. "I told the team at halftime, ‘We need to score in the next 10 minutes. Make it four and then we have them.’"
When Emrhein picked up the deflection off a shot by teammate Jamie Martin and scored with 6:59 elapsed in the second, the Lady Warriors went up 4-0 and never looked back.
"Jamie had a great shot, it was going on goal and (a defender) got a stick on it. The ball was going to roll out of the circle," Emrhein said, "and I just ran back and tried to shoot and put it on cage. It went in far post."
That was enough for a Lady Warrior defense consisting of Courtney Weaver, Jaycie St. John, Liz Wolfe and Casie Stief, who allowed just two corners and one shot to get through on goalies Kailynne Reinoehl and Gaby Spatz.
Weaver did an exceptional job shutting down Lady Wildcats’ leading scorer Emma Christman.
"I’ve got to praise my defense – they do a heck of a job," Derr said. "Courtney Weaver is just everywhere. But she has a good supporting cast back there. Those backs do a great job and then you’ve got Ryno in the goal cage. It’s a great defensive unit and they work really well together."
"We’ve worked a long time together," Weaver said, "so it’s real easy to play with them because you know where everyone is."
With the outcome no longer in doubt, Emrhein added the icing on the cake, scoring on Warwick’s 13th penalty corner for her team-leading 21st goal of the season as time expired.
With that, the Lady Warriors turned their attention to Emmaus this Saturday.
"It’s just exciting – we get to go on and play another game," Wenger said.
"I’m pleased," Derr said. "Now we’re in the Great Eight. There’s only eight teams left and our job is to get to the next round."
More STATES, page B-7